This year has started with the bus industry in a bleak and difficult place, but even as the obstacles mount up against us, I hope that 2022 will be the year the bus industry regains its sense of pride and purpose.

The list of challenges seems endless: Nationwide labour shortages and difficulties with parts supply threaten our ability to deliver services; fuel prices soar; uncertainty over future patronage and funding levels make it impossible to plan anything; two years of relentless and unjust government messaging about public transport being unsafe undermines public confidence, driving people back to their cars and congesting our roads.

Perhaps worst of all, a government that a year ago was pledging its undying commitment to the bus now seems to be running for the hills, slashing funding for the National Bus Strategy and quietly giving the green light for authorities to start eroding concessionary travel reimbursement.

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