Auckland bus strike: Chaos expected after employer NZ Bus sidelines drivers

Commuter chaos is expected in Auckland on Monday, with a strike - and reciprocal action by the employer - leaving public transport services scarce.

NZ Bus has retaliated against striking drivers who are refusing to collect fares by pulling its buses off roads until Christmas Eve.

Auckland Transport spokesperson Mark Hannan says they are working to find replacements, but only a few services have been replaced.

"We've managed to get a few extra services to run on Monday. The 321 hospital service will run as normal. There will also be some services on Dominion Rd and Mt Eden Rd."

FIRST Union spokesperson Jared Abbott says refusing fares, as the drivers had been doing before being sidelined, is the best way to get the company's attention.

"We'd rather see this come to a head and actually be resolved, than just drag on forever with a constantly disrupted bus service, a lack of drivers and a huge amount of people exiting the industry."

Workers will be demonstrating outside Auckland Transport's office from 8:30am.

"People should look at other options," said Hannan. "There could be other bus options they could use, or trains, particularly if you're in the Remuera or Mt Eden area."

Either way, there will be delays, with school buses run by NZ Bus also cancelled.

"It's just a matter of having a bit of patience, and planning ahead to see if public transport works for you."

The drivers won't be paid until NZ Bus lets them back behind the wheel.

"Our drivers are ready and willing to drive, then as soon as the company pulls their suspension notice, the buses can be back on the road," said Abbott, adding that intervention from the council is needed.

"I understand it's hard to get a lot of money all of a sudden in a short amount of time, but what they need to do is put a substantive, confirmed plan in place to be able to resolve the issue long-term."

A full list of cancellations and alternative options are available on Auckland Transport's website.