The NSW transport minister has warned of indefinite Sydney traffic chaos as social distancing measures force people returning to on-site employment off public transport.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Monday said peak-hour bus and train services were already at capacity – with just 12 passengers per bus and 32 per train carriage permitted.
Ms Berejiklian and Transport Minister Andrew Constance on Monday said workers would for the foreseeable future need to shift their schedules to off-peak bus and train transport, take alternative ferry and light rail routes or drive, drop off, cycle or walk.
The maximum number of daily public transport trips permitted amid social distancing guideline would be 600,000 per day – down from 2.2 million.
Ms Berejiklian said public transport commuters should try to travel between 10am and 2pm in order to save peak-hour space for essential workers and construction workers.
Socially-distanced seating on public transport would be marked out in “green dots” in what Mr Constance characterised as a “nudge” to keep people 1.5 metres apart.
Overflow parking, meanwhile, would be established in various Sydney locations – most notably inner Sydney’s Moore Park – for vehicle commuters, with socially-distanced CBD shuttles.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT CHANGES IN NSW DURING COVID-19:
– Avoid peak-hour travel. Off-peak times are between 10am and 2pm.
– Green dots will be used on trains, buses and ferries to show passengers where to sit and stand to maintain the 1.5-metre social distancing rule.
– 12 people will be allowed on two-door buses in Sydney, 32 commuters on Waratah train carriages, and 245 people on a Freshwater ferry.
– Real-time information on transport apps showing which services have space available.
– The network usually carries up to 2.3 million people daily, the capacity will now be between 550,000 and 600,000 people.
– Buses and trains are already close to capacity during peak hour but light rail and ferry services aren’t.
– Authorities will be able to close a station for up to 20 minutes if platforms become too crowded.
– Deep cleaning and more hand sanitisers rolled out across the transport network.
OTHER TRAVEL OPTIONS:
– Event-style parking arrangements in place at Moore Park from next week. More pop-up car park stations are coming.
– Private car park operators will offer deals for all-day parking.
– 10.3 kilometres of six pop-up bike paths to help get people from inner city suburbs riding into work.
– Government working with councils to enhance pedestrian access.