Survey reveals Metro Tasmania bus drivers are threatened at work
A survey of over 100 Metro Tasmania bus drivers has found that seven in 10 drivers have been threatened while working, while 98% of drivers have been verbally abused. The survey revealed that 67% of operators believe Metro doesn’t take their safety seriously, while 91% believe the safety culture has not improved in the past five years.
Half of the drivers surveyed were either very likely or somewhat likely to resign, with the main reasons for the high levels of resignation from Metro being safety (76%), wages (73%), rosters (65%), and COVID-19 (8%, often blamed by management). The survey also found that lifetime bans for repeat offenders (74%), more Transit Officers on identified problem routes (72%) and temporary suspension of services on routes subject to repeated violent offences (70%) were the highest rating measures to improve safety. Additionally, 67% of survey respondents had no confidence in current management to run Metro, while 24% were unsure and 9% reported having confidence in Metro Tasmania.
The survey found that 71% of respondents felt their confidence in the ability of management had deteriorated in the past 12 months (somewhat and greatly combined). RTBU Tasmania Secretary Ric Bean said the results of the survey are “shocking but not surprising”, as violent and antisocial behaviour on public transport services is getting out of control.
“It’s not fair on drivers, and it’s not fair on passengers. These problems are statewide, and they require urgent attention from Metro management and the state government. Our members have had a gutful. Already we have seen many bus drivers leave the industry because conditions are so bad, and concerningly half of the members we surveyed are considering resigning. Congestion on roads is getting worse, but we can’t expect people to switch from their cars to public transport if they are worried about their safety,” Bean said.
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