Physical distancing on transport key to a safe pathway back to work
The NSW Government has today released its plan to provide a COVID-safe transport network.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said as restrictions are eased and people travel more, we need to ensure physical distancing is maintained across our public transport network.
“As we ease restrictions, we will see more activity and more people returning to work, school and university,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Our number one priority remains keeping commuters safe so we are ensuring there are plenty of safe and efficient options to get people moving throughout our State during the pandemic.”
Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said for the foreseeable future, the public transport system could not run as usual, and the current low patronage levels were already close to the safe capacity in the peak.
“Everyone will need to maintain physical distancing during this pandemic,” Mr Constance said.
“That means if you are not already using public transport during the peak times, please do not use public transport during peak periods.”
The NSW Government’s COVIDSafe Transport Plan includes:
- Avoiding peak travel: If you are not already using public transport in the peak, please do NOT use public transport in the peak. Services are already close to capacity to allow for distancing at these times. Off peak times are between 10am and 2pm;
- Deep cleaning and more hand sanitisers: Intense and ongoing cleaning will occur throughout the transport network and there will be a continued rollout of hand sanitiser at key transport hubs, including at high demand stations;
- Boosting parking: Special event-style parking arrangements will be in place at Moore Park for people who are able to drive to work. Other locations will be rolled out soon. In addition car park operators will be offering special deals for all day parking;
- More cycling and walking options: The Government is working with councils on establishing pop-up cycleways and enhancing pedestrian access to allow more people to find alternative routes to work;
- Physical distancing - ‘No dot, no spot’: Distinctive green dots will be used on trains, buses and ferries to show passengers the safest places to sit and stand. A ‘No dot, no spot’ will see passengers asked to wait for the next service. School children will be given priority access;
- More data: Customers to be given real time information through Apps, social media and Transport Info to see which services have space available to maintain physical distancing; and
- More services: Changes will be considered to increase services eg; more ferries, water taxis and private vehicle passenger services on the water.
Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said cleaning continues to be ramped up, with an extra 132,000 hours of cleaning since March.
“The network has never been cleaner, however to maintain physical distancing you will continue to see fewer people on our network and we want people to continue to drive, cycle and walk whenever they can,” Mr Constance said.
“We will be monitoring patronage and have staff at key locations across the metropolitan area to assist customers.”
Ms Berejiklian said it is important the community continues to come together to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“Our frontline transport staff have been doing an amazing job during this unprecedented time and I urge you to keep giving them your respect and understanding,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Be prepared your trip will look different and please consider all options available before you start your journey.”