Rail staff must be retained: Mehreen Faruqi

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Greens NSW MP and spokesperson on Transport, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has crticised the government for using the Opal card roll out as an opportunity to cut sales staff at railway stations.

“The Government should be redeploying staff from ticketing windows to front line customer service and safety, not using it is an opportunity to reduce public services,” Dr Faruqi says.

“The Greens are concerned about the reported removal of rail staff on stations where Opal has been introduced. The fact of the matter is that Opal has not yet been fully rolled out and made accessible. These redundancies hurt concession holders and pensioner excursion users, for which Opal is simply not yet available.

“This is particularly bruising at a time when concession tickets aren’t even sold at machines anymore after 9am on weekdays at some stations.I’ve heard many stories of students being delayed, missing trains, and sometimes having a pay full-fare due to this being in place.

“Even after the Opal Card is fully rolled out, many people will continue to use paper tickets because they do not have the financial resources to load up their cards in advance.” DrFaruqi has also questioned the usefulness of the theOpal card to part time workers.

“The transport minister needs to explain why these services are being cut.The Opal Card is an opportunity to provide a more convenient ticketing experience, not an excuse to sack vital rail staff,” Dr Faruqi said.

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