Sydney bus drivers to receive staff opal cards from today
April 12, 2024

New and current bus drivers right across Sydney will be receiving their staff Opal cards from today.

Delivering Opal cards to drivers across Sydney was a measure recommended by the Bus Industry Taskforce to encourage driver retention to help with the bus driver shortage.

Staff Opal cards were also part of the NSW Labor Government’s election commitments in order to help drivers with cost-of-living pressures and to give them the respect they deserve.

The Government and Transport for NSW have been working with the Bus Industry Taskforce, operators, and unions on other measures to alleviate the driver shortage and to deliver improvements to reliability and equity for bus across the state.

The Government continues to make it quicker, easier, and cheaper for drivers to get their bus driver authority, by waiving the $70 application fee for a further 12 months, in a bid to better support the industry and encourage more people into the drivers seat.

Transport for NSW is also working to improve the quality of facilities for bus drivers across Greater Sydney.

All 62 layover and interchange locations identified by drivers, unions and operators have been audited with some quick repairs already underway.


As part of our package to support bus drivers, $3.4 million is being invested into assessing and upgrading vital driver facilities such as meal rooms and bathrooms for drivers.


Bus drivers will also soon have access to new navigation technology, which will further improve service efficiency and make it easier for drivers to learn new routes.


Development for this new tool is currently underway, following recommendations in the first Bus Industry Taskforce report, handed down last year. 


From Friday April 19, contracted bus operators will be able to download an application, to both iOS and Android tablets, which will allow drivers to navigate new or changed routes, with visual and voice guided instructions. 

This means new drivers will be better supported as they learn their routes, it will also improve the reliability of the timetables and ensure passengers have fewer disruptions to services. 

The driver assistance system will also:

  1. Allow drivers to choose a specific route.
  2. Select a trip start time.
  3. Offer visual and voice direction to a bus stop.
  4. Provide visual and time progress updates as the bus moves through the route.

This is all a part of the NSW Government’s promise to deliver better bus services across the state and to ensure that those services meet community expectations.

The Taskforce, established in May 2023 and chaired by John Lee, has focused on key areas in need of improvement, including the quality of bus services in relation to on-time running and reliability, as well as improving driver facilities, driver recruitment and retention.

The Taskforce will provide the NSW Government with its Final Report and recommendations in May.

We encourage anyone thinking of a career as a bus driver to visit Bus driving jobs across NSW | Transport for NSW


Quotes attributable to Transport Minister Jo Haylen:


“This is about showing appreciation and respect for our bus drivers. Drivers work long hours in difficult conditions, and they’ve had to deal with the fallout from privatization.”

“We’re keeping our promise to bus drivers and letting them know that we deeply value the work that they do.”

“When we jump in a car, most of us will put an address into our GPS, it’s second nature. Bus drivers should have the similar technology.”

“Our bus drivers are navigating some of the busiest roads across the country and we want to arm them with any and all technology and knowledge we can.”

“This new tool will help drivers get to know their route or step in and learn a new one easily, whilst also making trips more reliable and efficient for passengers, catching buses everyday.”