ACTION Director James Roncon has defended bus breakdown figures obtained by the ACT Opposition through questions on notice, stating that the numbers can be misleading.

In the 2010-11 financial year, there were 1416 breakdowns recorded, which was a notable increase on the 1045 recorded in 2009-10.

The Opposition say these figures translate to 3.75 buses breaking down each day, or once every five hours. ACTION’s current commuter bus fleet consists of 430 buses.

Opposition transport spokesperson Alistair Coe pointed out that ACTION Buses cost each Canberra taxpayer $321 per year, whether they used the service or not,

“Bus breakdowns have increased markedly over the past year and it’s unacceptable for Canberrans to be paying so much for an unreliable and infrequent bus service,” Mr Coe said.

Mr Roncon stated that it was not industry practice to calculate breakdown figures on an hourly basis, as published by the Opposition.

The industry standard is to measure breakdowns per 100,000km traveled. ACTION is currently below the industry benchmark of six breakdowns per 100,000km, recording a figure of 5.33 breakdowns. Mr Roncon described the figures as ‘impressive’ considering the relatively greater distance traveled by ACTION Buses.

ACTION is currently undertaking a $75 million program to replace 135 Renault buses, some of which are now over twenty years old, with new standard buses from MAN, 14.5m ‘Steer tag’ Scania buses and new articulated buses from a successful tenderer which has yet to be announced.

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