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Sydney Transport Chaos As Bus Drivers Go On Strike

Almost 1200 Sydney bus drivers are on strike for 24 hours in response to a state government decision to privatise services on some of the city's busiest routes.

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union walked off the job at midnight, affecting services across Sydney's inner west and south on Thursday, despite the Industrial Relations Commission last night ruling that the stop work action is illegal. 

This morning a spokesman for the union confirmed drivers had walked off the job and that Sydney bus passengers should make alternative travel plans.

The four depots involved in the strike are in the areas to be privatised: Leichhardt, Burwood, Kingsgrove and Tempe.

Union spokesman Chris Preston laid the blame at the feet of Transport Minister Andrew Constance.

"With no warning, no consultation and against explicit undertakings, he has placed the future of 1200 bus drivers and depot staff in limbo," Mr Preston said in a statement on Wednesday.

"This action is our members' initial response to this outrageous action."

The privatisation plan would see the contract for Bus Region 6, which runs 233 routes from Olympic Park in the city's west to Kensington in the city's southeast, put out to private tender with the aim of providing a more reliable service.

The routes had some of the worst on-time running results in 2016 and have attracted the highest number of complaints out of Sydney's metropolitan area.

Mr Constance slammed the strike, saying the union was putting its bosses before customers and had been "egged on" by Labor.

"I hope the majority of bus drivers who want to deliver a better service to customers ignore their union bosses and show up to work tomorrow," he said in a statement.

Mr Constance claimed there would be more jobs for drivers in the future and current inner-west drivers would keep their jobs under the new private operator.

The main reason for the decision was to give customers a better service for the same price, the minister added.

The union warned members of the public to make alternative arrangements to get to work and drop their children at school on Thursday.

REGULAR BUS ROUTES AFFECTED:

401 406 407 408 412 413 415 418 422 423 425

426 428 430 431 433 436 437 438 439 440 441

442 444 445 460 461 462 463 464 466 470 473

476 477 478 479 480 483 487 490 491 492 493

495 502 504 508 526

L23 L28 L37 L38 L39

M20 M30 M41

X04 X25

SCHOOL BUS SERVICES AFFECTED:

560S 561S 562S 563S 565S 566S 567S 568S 569S 570S

571S 572S 573S 574S 575S 576S 577S 578S 579S 580S

581S 582S 583S 584S 585S 586S 587S 588S 589S 590S

591S 592S 593S 595S 596S 597S 598S 600S 601S 602S

603S 604S 605S 606S 607S 608S 609S 610S 611S 612S

613S 614S 615S 616S 617S 618S 619S 620S 621S 622S

623S 624S 625S 626S 627S 628S 629S 630S 631S 632S

633S 634S 635S 636S 637S 638S 639S 640S 641S 642S

643S 644S 645S 646S 647S 648S 650S 651S 652S 654S

655S 656S 657S 658S 659S 660S 661S 662S 663S 664S

670S 671S 672S 673S 674S 675S 676S 677S 678S 679S

680S 681S 682S 683S 684S 685S 690S 691S 692S 693S

700S 701S 702S 710S 711S 712S 713S 714S 715S 716S

718S 720S 721S 725S 726S 730S 731S 732S 733S 734S

735S 736S 738S 740S 741S 743S 745S 750S 751S 753S

755S 757S 760S 761S 762S 763S 764S 765S 766S 767S

768S 769S 770S 780S 781S

AAP/Daily Telegraph

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