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Bus commuters left stranded for hours amid driver shortage claims

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Bus commuters have been left stranded for hours due to drivers calling in sick and services being cancelled across Queensland.

Robert Dow from Rail Back on Track says that many of the commuters, including those in Ipswich, are not aware of changes to the timetable because it isn’t being communicated properly by Translink.

The worst impacted service in the city is route 503, which had 16 cancellations from RiverLink Shopping Centre last Friday as well as 15 services cut from its sister service route 502 and a further 10 dropped on route 509.

“Translink really needs to make sure that the information is conveyed to all contending bus passengers that there are cancellations happening

“The best way to do that would be to put a big notice up on the main page of Translink and send around regular reminders.

The Ripley 531 bus service normally runs every two hours but when that gets cancelled - that’s four hours between buses.

Mr Dow says the bus driver shortage may be relieved next week during the school holidays.

“It would be better for Translink to introduce a reduced service timetable that ran reliably,” he says.

Mr Dow says with the changed economic climate with COVID, it has been more difficult for bus operators to attract drivers.

A Transport and Main Roads spokesperson says Translink works closely with bus operators to ensure the timely delivery of public transport services.

“Where there are impacts to service reliability, Translink monitors and works with bus operators to ensure appropriate service levels are maintained and to minimise customer disruption by prioritising high impact services - particularly those transporting children," the spokesperson says.

TMR says it consults with bus operators to plan and provide customers with an overview of adjustments to services for the week.

“Planned changes to the timetable due to cancelled services in Westside and Ipswich are currently online, with any additional impacts also posted online (individually) as they arise,” the spokesperson says.

The Translink journey planner will alert customers to known future disruptions as well as current disruptions, while the Translink app also informs customers of any changes to a bus route where they have nominated the route as one of their favourites.

 

Image: Supplied