UNIONS have vowed to keep a close eye on Newcastle’s new transport operator after French company Keolis Downer was handed the keys on Friday.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union said Friday’s changeover to the new private operator was the “end of an era”, with the government-owned Newcastle Buses and Ferries operating in the city since 1935.
The union’s bus and tram president, Dave Woollams, said Transport Minister Andrew Constance made a promise to Newcastle when Keolis Downer was selected as the new operator.
“The RTBU will be watching closely over the coming weeks, months and years to make sure Minister Constance keeps his promise to Newcastle commuters, and that there are no cuts to local service,” Mr Woollams said.
Keolis Downer said there would be no changes to services this year, but there would be service “improvements” next year, with higher frequency services in “key corridors”. It said it would honour all existing staff agreements.