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Metro to introduce temporary service adjustments to improve certainty and reliability


24 August 2023

Metro to introduce temporary service adjustments to improve certainty and reliability

Metro Tasmania (Metro) will introduce temporary service adjustments across its Hobart network from Monday 28 August to assist it to deal with ongoing driver shortages.

Metro is planning to suspend some of its less frequented services while maintaining its more popular services to reduce daily unexpected cancelled trips.

This will allow for greater certainty for customers when planning a trip on a Metro service.

Metro CEO Katie Cooper said every state across Australia was experiencing unprecedented driver shortages, and Tasmania and Metro was no different.

“Metro has and continues to take steps to address the shortage by actively recruiting and training bus operators,” she said.

“To further assist in managing this, we will introduce adjusted timetables to provide greater certainty and reliability.

“This is another tool in our toolbox as we continue to implement longer-term measures to recruit and retain bus operators as we work to progressively restore services.”

“It was a decision not taken lightly, but is necessary in order to provide greater certainty and reliability for our customers,” she said.

“Improved service reliability is critical for our customers.

“Importantly, we have worked hard to ensure the suspended services does not target one specific area in Greater Hobart. The adjustments will be spread across the day and throughout the network to lessen any impact.

“We thank our customers for their patronage and patience.”

Importantly, dedicated school services will be unaffected and Metro will continue to protect and prioritise high priority general access services.

Buses may still be operating at reduced service levels on any given day due to unplanned traffic issues and operational requirements.

Metro will communicate directly with customers ahead of the changes so that they can plan their travel with increased confidence. It will also update online timetables and the online Trip Planner.

Updated schedules will be available online at


Across Australia, the transport sector is approximately 25,000 drivers short. In Tasmania, this is compounded by the fact that Metro is operating in a very tight labour market.

Metro has and continues to take steps to address the operator shortage by actively recruiting and retaining staff. This includes:

  • Increased recruitment strategies, including more targeted recruitment campaigns through various channels including via online ads, on buses, targeted recruitment campaigns in specific locations (such as Kingsborough) and partnering with Jobs Hubs and employment agencies.
  • Increased retention strategies, including driver assessments, coaching and mentoring programs. This includes working with providers on health and wellbeing, including through our onsite EAP.
  • Increased the number of training classes and updated the training program to shorten the duration whilst increasing the amount of on-road time.
  • Significant refurbishments have taken place over the year across Metro’s three depots.
  • Co-designed staff training programme to improve understanding and de-escalation of aggressive behaviour.
  • Metro and the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) have launched a joint campaign to take a stand on anti-social behaviour on Metro buses. The Its NOT ok Campaign will run for a number of months in Burnie, Launceston and Hobart.