Bus strikes are on their way

The great thing about relying on public transport is that you cannot rely on it. Trains have trouble in really hot weather or really cold weather. Buses – filthy, bug ridden things that they are at the best of times – are not reliable either, because they can have scheduling issues: the local bus company can rewrite its entire programme and have people taking two hours to get to work, or… as is about to happen now – bus drivers may decide to go on strike. Stuff ?reports: quote.

Commuters in?Auckland, Waikato and Wellington will be left stranded?as bus drivers walk off the job this week.

The wheels will stop turning in Auckland and Waikato on Tuesday when hundreds of drivers go out on strike. Wellington drivers will strike on Thursday.

FIRST Union divisional secretary Jared Abbott said bus services?across the country were in “chaos”, and drivers had had enough?of the poor pay and work conditions.

He said?bus drivers were?not treated as people, and called for industry-wide standards, which included a Fair Pay Agreement. end quote.

I think it is going a bit far to say that “bus drivers were?not treated as people”, but it is the old story again. If it is possible to hold customers to ransom, #letsdothis. quote.

“It’s safe to say it’s absolute chaos everywhere, we need to be listened to this time. end quote.

The Wellington bus system was already in chaos, without striking bus drivers. No one can quite understand why a perfectly workable scheduling system was thrown overboard for one that forces people to take 3 buses to get to work when, previously, it only took one. But hey. Let’s all think of the planet and ride the bus. Who needs sleep anyway??quote.

Drivers currently “work 12 hours for eight hours’ pay” because of?split shifts, he said, and are also expected to drive unsupervised children on school bus routes.

Rolling strikes have been ongoing for 12 months, and?Abbott said it was unlikely this round of strike action would bring an end to the negotiations.

The union planned to continue with industrial action after this week’s strike. “If we do nothing, things won’t change,” Abbott said. end quote.

Hey, no worries. I’ll just keep using my car. Not that I ever use the buses anyway, but I certainly won’t now. quote.

The union wanted to see government, local councils and Auckland Transport step in.

“It’s time [they] rolled their sleeves up and got this mess sorted out,” he said. end quote.

The problem here is that the government wants us all to use public transport. It is prepared to spend a fortune on light rail systems and new bus systems to tempt us all out of our cars but you can never quite rule out the human factor. That is, that people always want more money.

I live in a suburb where there is no public transport anyway, so this is academic as far as I am concerned. This weekend, as I will be travelling to the airport, I considered going on the Valley Flyer but I have decided against it. Why go on a bus when you can enjoy the comfort and privacy of a car? Even if it does cost a bit more these days?

Priorities, my friends. Priorities. Cindy will be horrified. But when was the last time she was seen on a bus?