16 Jan 2019

Wellington bus drivers to refuse to charge passengers

3:49 pm on 16 January 2019

Wellington bus drivers working for NZ Bus have voted to refuse to charge passengers from the end of January.

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Wellington bus drivers have voted to take industrial action and they'll be refusing to charge fares. Photo: Facebook / NZ Bus

Today during a stop-work meeting the drivers voted to take industrial action in response to proposed changes to their roster.

The Tramways Union says it's trying to use more part-time shifts with fewer hours, which would see drivers paid less and face increased uncertainty over their hours.

Union spokesperson Kevin O'Sullivan says members are furious.

He says there's pressure on the bus system, and on drivers' terms and conditions.

Mr O'Sullivan says the blame sits with the Greater Wellington Regional Council, so it's appropriate that a fare strike will hit it in the pocket.

Some Wellington bus services are cancelled today as members of the Tramways Union employed by NZ Bus go on strike between 9am and 3pm.

NZ Bus services on 20 routes will be cancelled between 9am and 3pm, but Metlink said services would be affected from 8am to 4pm.

Tramways Union spokesperson Kevin O'Sullivan said there were supposed to be stop work meetings today, but the company wanted them held as three separate meetings, to reduce the impact on services.

Instead the drivers have decided to strike to attend one meeting.

Regional council transport committee chair Barbara Donaldson said it was disappointing outcome for bus users and urged drivers and NZ Bus to find a resolution over the dispute as quickly as possible.

Check Metlink's website for up-to-date information.