New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance today announced substantial changes to the state’s public transport services.
“As we ease [lockdown] restrictions, we will see more activity and more people returning to work, school and university,” Premier Berejiklian said in a press release. “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.”
In order to ensure the 1.5 metres of physical distancing required on public transport, the CovidSafe Transport Plan will place restrictions on the number of patrons permitted on Sydney’s trains, buses and ferries.
Soon we’ll start seeing green dot stickers with big ticks and the words “sit here” inside public-transport vehicles. “No dot, no spot” means that if all green-dot seats are taken, passengers will be asked to wait for the next service. Buses will have a maximum capacity of 12 passengers, train carriages will be capped at 32 and ferries will be capped at 45, reports the ABC.
The government acknowledges this change will disrupt travel, especially for nine-to-five workers and students, and recommends working from home and avoiding peak-hour travel wherever possible.
“Our frontline transport staff have been doing an amazing job ... and I urge you to keep giving them your respect and understanding,” said Premier Berejiklian. “Be prepared your trip will look different and please consider all options available before you start your journey.”
The government is also working with councils to construct pop-up bikeways and enhance pedestrian access to create alternative travel routes. Additionally, special event-style parking arrangements will be in place at Moore Park for people who are able to drive to work, with more parking locations being rolled out soon.
Find more information about the CovidSafe Transport Plan here.