School routes face fare pressure

A BUS industry group fears regional school bus operators could be forced to sack workers if the Queensland Government does not compensate for a 5% fare drop.

Queensland Bus Industry Council executive director David Tape said while public transport operators were being reimbursed for the enforced 5% fare drop - school bus routes operators were told they must pass on the decreased fare without being compensated.

But Transport Minister Scott Emerson has denied operators will be worse off following the fare decrease, stating all funding levels would be maintained.

"All operators' funding levels will be maintained as a result of the removal of the carbon tax and the first ever state-wide reduction in fares in Queensland history," he said.

"If any contracted operator is concerned that they may have funding reduced, TMR will be happy to discuss their circumstances."

Mr Tape said the QBIC had unsuccessfully invited the government to explain its position to members.

"All we want is the 5% decreased fare reimbursed for our members, similar to what they've done with the urban services" he said. "We're not trying to come out ahead here."

Mr Tape said the government's claims funding levels would be maintained was incorrect.

He said some regional school route operators had told him they could lose up to $50,000.

"They're telling me they just can't afford to sustain a loss like that," he said. "It could cost jobs.

"All the government has told us is that operators running commercial routes run them at their own risk."

Mr Tape said operators were contractually obliged to run the routes and would have to go to court if they could no longer afford the routes. -

APN NEWSDESK


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