Sydney Will Score Free Train Rides Next Week ‘Cos Of The Govt & Union Drama So Choo Fkn Choo

Sydney will cop free train rides next week thanks to the epic battle between the NSW Government and the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU). It is the never-ending saga, the political war to end all political wars, and yet I am merely a commuting peasant manifesting a free train ride to Central.

So how the fuck have we managed to snare five days of free train rides?

In essence, because of union demands: basically Premier Dominic Perrottet agreed to the free transport for Sydney to stop RTBU industrial action.

The union had initially planned to refuse to operate the foreign-built trains in our fleet from Monday to Friday. That’s around three quarters of all the trains according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Side-bar: can we talk about what a bloody great collective noun “fleet” is? A fleet of trains is almost as satisfying as, like, a pod of dolphins or a murder of crows. Great work everyone.

Perrottet said he wanted the sitch “fixed”.

“I’ve made that very clear,” he said.

“This has gone on for way too long. Providing free travel for the week will ensure that that industrial action doesn’t occur.”

He also said he’d get rid of the government’s commitment to modify the intercity fleet if there’s any more industrial action.

Much of the union and the government’s beef has been over the Korean-made intercity fleet, which the union says is a risk to worker and rider safety.

“If there is any industrial action on the network we are not modifying [the fleet],” Perrottet said.

Okay, dramatic.

But Perrottet did say the government and union had had “constructive discussions”. Yay! I’m excited to go back to not knowing anything about trains.

The union and government will be meeting this Tuesday to potentially finally come to a new pay agreement too.

RTBU Secretary Alex Claassens described the ongoing sitch as a “long hard slog”.

“We want a resolution to this and we’re prepared to sit down,” he said, per the ABC.

“We are grateful that [Perrottet] actually made the time yesterday and we just hope that he can go and wave his magic wand and resolve the issue for us.”

The image of Dominic Perrottet whirling around a magic wand is certainly one for the ages.

So, how about those free train rides for Sydney then? The fare-free travel will start at 12.01am on Monday and end at 11.59pm on Friday, so make like Cinderella and get home by midnight.

Free journeys will be available on Sydney Trains, NSW Trainlink and the Metro, but not the Light Rail, bus or ferry. Alas.

You should also keep tapping with your Opal card — it just won’t be charged.

Maybe use that money to go buy an overpriced coffee or another little treat. Now excuse me while I ensure all my plans for next week include at least six train journeys per day.