Transport minister challenged to ride hot buses

Union officials have challenged the Transport Minister to climb aboard substitute buses with no air conditioning and experience the hot conditions passengers are enduring.

Thousands of commuters have been suffering through Adelaide’s recent hot spell with substitute buses replacing train services on the Noarlunga, Tonsley and Belair lines while they and the Adelaide Railway Station are upgraded.

Today’s 40C heat had commuters at boiling point, and even though the Transport Workers Union was handing out bottled water, it wasn’t cooling temperatures or temperaments.

“It’s very, very uncomfortable for passengers and it’s extremely uncomfortable for the driver,” said Ian Gonsalves from the Transport Workers Union (TWU).

He said in 40C weather it can get up to 55C inside a bus with no air conditioning.

“They (the government) have a duty of care to the drivers and the travelling public to fix this problem,” he said.

He has now challenged Transport Minister Pat Conlon to take a ride on one of the sweltering buses.

“Come in, sit in one of these buses and stay there for an hour and 55 minutes and see what he’s like when he comes out,” Mr Gonsalves said.

“Pat Conlon, come out and give it a shot, see what it is like to travel in one of these buses in 40C heat.”

But the Minister said stunts would not help the situation.

“This isn’t helped by empty stunts,” he said.

“I’ll go out and ride my pushbike in the heat if it would help anyone - I don’t see how it will.”