NSW Government's plan for COVID-safe travel in Regional NSW
Measures to enhance safety and ensure physical distancing are being rolled out across the regional transport network as COVID-19 restrictions ease and more passengers start to return to work and school.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the public transport system was a critical link both within and between regional communities.
“Our regions are a diverse mix of large hubs and smaller more isolated communities which is why it is so important we have a COVID-safe transport plan which is adaptable to both,” Mr Toole said.
“The NSW Government is committed to keeping communities safely connected, including supporting those in the regions who need to travel longer distances for work or medical appointments.
“While restrictions have started to ease and some areas have had low incidences of COVID-19, we cannot be complacent. We are asking all customers to consider all their travel options including driving or if possible walking and cycling, particularly for people who live in the larger regional centres.”
TrainLink services are being pre-booked in accordance with physical distancing and catering and cash-handling has been minimised.
Distinctive green dots will be rolled out across all regional public transport modes to show passengers the safest places to sit and stand.
In addition extra cleaning on all services has been ramped up, with an extra 132,000 hours of cleaning across the State since March.
Mr Toole said in some regional areas, bus stops could be in remote locations and services less frequent.
“We are working closely with bus operators so that enough services are available to make physical distancing possible while not leaving anyone behind. This includes school children and those with a disability,” Mr Toole said.
“In these cases we will be helping customers to keep as much space as possible between each other, and practise good hygiene. It’s important to understand that on dedicated school bus services, physical distancing will not always be possible.”
Mr Toole said communities needed to work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and stressed the importance for anyone feeling unwell not to travel.
“Safety of our customers and frontline staff is our number one priority. These measures are designed to support passengers get where they need to go as safely as possible,” Mr Toole said.
“Our staff are incredibly passionate about the job they do and make a real difference to customers’ daily lives. We ask that all our regional customers continue to treat each other and our frontline staff with respect and understanding.