Cancellations and lengthy delays persist

Davidson MP Matt Cross presented a petition signed by more than 1,300 disgruntled commuters to State Parliament earlier this month, lamenting ongoing issues with buses on the Beaches.

Mr Cross also moved a motion on 19 March which noted that 466 bus services were cancelled between 1 and 24 February in Region 14, equating to more than 33 cancelled services a day.

Region 14 includes Mona Vale, Ingleside, Terrey Hills, Belrose and the Forest area, and is operated by CDC NSW.

The Davidson MP said 1,371 residents had signed the petition to fix the bus service and called on the Government to create a plan to recruit more bus drivers, hold bus companies to account and ensure there are disincentives and penalties for unreliable and cancelled bus services.

Commuters are also unhappy with Region 8 services, operated by Keolis Downer, which runs from Mona Vale to the city through the Lower North Shore.

Local community Facebook pages have been blowing up with residents venting about the number of services that are cancelled, particularly the B-Line, and how long it takes to commute to work.

One resident posted in early March about a 25-minute wait to get on a B1 Mona Vale to City service in Dee Why. It is understood that the B-Line buses are often ‘standing room only’ by the time they get to Dee Why or Manly Vale.

One local suggested staggering the morning commute, posting that 15 to 20 buses drove by already full past her stop in Dee Why.

“The government is not doing enough,” Mr Cross said in parliament. “The Bus Industry Taskforce is not enough. Simply saying there is a bus driver shortage is not enough.

“I am committed to fixing this mess.”

A Transport for NSW Spokesperson said the department was reviewing the Region 8 timetable and would release a new one soon to deliver an improved service for passengers.

“The bus driver shortage continues to impact the delivery of regular route services on the North Shore and Northern Beaches,” the spokesperson said.

“Transport for NSW has been working alongside bus contractors, including CDC NSW, to recruit new drivers across the state through regular advertising, marketing and social media campaigns along with driver information sessions.”

There were 272 bus driver vacancies as of 4 March in Greater Sydney, down from 500 in May 2023.