FREE TRAVEL NEXT WEEK ACROSS THE ENTIRE SYDNEY TRAIN NETWORK
The Premier today announced five days of free travel on the train network across NSW next week to ensure commuters are not inconvenienced by planned industrial action by the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU).
The RTBU has agreed to stop the planned industrial action next week, which would have led to the union refusing to operate more than 70 per cent of trains across the network.
Travel will be free on Sydney Trains, NSW Trainlink and Sydney Metro networks from 12.01am Monday 21 November 2022 to 11.59pm Friday 25 November 2022 and commuters will be asked to continue to tap on and off, but will not be charged.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the decision was made because commuters have to come first.
“People need to get to work, go to school and go about their normal day without being disrupted by union strike action, Mr Perrottet said.
“I’ve taken this action to put Sydney commuters ahead of union disruption and make sure businesses across our city don’t take a financial hit.
“On Thursday I had a very constructive meeting with Alex Claassens and the RTBU but it’s now time to remove barriers and take it all before an independent umpire for a resolution.
“Sydney commuters deserve nothing less.”
NSW Government estimates that the RTBU industrial disruption and strike action costs the economy between $10 million to $20 million a day.
On Tuesday, the NSW Government will enter into negotiations with the RTBU seeking to agree terms to start a Fair Work managed arbitration.
Minister for Transport, Veterans and Western Sydney David Elliott said commuters have had enough of disruptions to the rail network and just want to be able to go about their daily routines without additional cost or stress.
“Offering five fare free days is in the best interest of commuters and demonstrates to the rail union bosses and all their members that the NSW Government is acting in good faith and determined to reach a resolution. I ask the union to reciprocate this act of good faith,” Mr Elliott said.
“This week while we are before the Fair Work Commission to determine the scope of arbitration, it is imperative that all parties come to the table with a strong desire to put an end to these continued disruptions on our rail network.”
Minister for Finance Damien Tudehope said “Arbitration by the independent umpire is the fastest way to resolve the issues in dispute and get the government’s fair and reasonable pay offer in the pockets of rail workers.”
Almost 1 million (886,500) commuter trips are taken each week day across the Sydney train network. The cost of free travel on the network is around $1.5 million per day.