Commuters urged to travel off-peak to curb spread of coronavirus

Train travellers at Sutherland go about their business as the coronavirus crisis grows. Transport officials are encouraging off-peak travel where possible. Picture: John Veage
Train travellers at Sutherland go about their business as the coronavirus crisis grows. Transport officials are encouraging off-peak travel where possible. Picture: John Veage

Commuters are being urged to travel in off-peak periods if possible to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Minister for Transport Andrew Constance said off-peak travel was one of many actions commuters could take to reduce the possibility of person-to-person transmission.

Mr Constance said "stringent cleaning regimes" had been implemented on trains, buses and other modes of public transport.

"While staff have boosted maintenance and cleaning efforts on the network in response to COVID-19, customers need to take extra precautions too," he said.

"First and foremost, we ask you to please stay home and avoid travel altogether if you are unwell. You cannot pass on COVID-19 or any virus, if you are self-isolated at home.

"Sick people in close proximity to others is causing the global spread of the virus, so travelling outside of crowded peak hours can help reduce the chances of transmission."

Mr Constance said Transport for NSW was working closely with NSW Health and other government agencies, as well as external operators statewide, to ensure the safety of customers.

Andrew Constance says "stringent cleaning regimes" for trains and buses have been implemented.. Picture: John Veage

Andrew Constance says "stringent cleaning regimes" for trains and buses have been implemented.. Picture: John Veage

"Cleaning squads have been deployed across trains, buses, ferries, light rail and the metro, particularly in high-traffic areas including Central, Town Hall and Wynyard," he said.

"Transport for NSW is encouraging customers to use Opal and contactless payments where possible, to further reduce chances of community spread and safeguard staff.

"For those services that do not offer contactless payment, we are advising all frontline staff to wash their hands and use hand sanitizer to limit the spread of viruses, Mr Constance said.

"Practicing good hand hygiene is crucial for staff and customers, particularly after coming in contact with handles, rails, buttons and windows, which people need to use."

Mr Constance said measures implemented by Transport for NSW included:

  • Stringent cleaning regimes.
  • Increased public health messaging at stations and Transport office.
  • Logistics planning around the provision of hand sanitiser across the network.
  • Set up of a dedicated COVID-19 incidents and scenarios taskforce.
  • Staff to validate tickets without contact via Opal and contactless card payment.

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