The Queensland government says a range of sanitation measures have given public transport users the confidence to return to their train network
EXTRA train services have contributed to Queenslanders returning to public transport, with the state’s south east recording the most trips on public transport in a single day since the COVID measures were introduced in March 2020.
Transport minister Mark Bailey said more than 460,000 trips were taken on buses, trains, trams and ferries throughout the south east corner on Wednesday 3 February – 27 per cent below the same time last year.
Patronage fell by as much as 80 per cent in 2020 as Queenslanders stayed home.
“We’ve ramped up cleaning of vehicles and stations, we’ve introduced cashless payment where possible and added more services during the pandemic to accommodate social distancing – and the continued rebound in patronage shows confidence in the measures we’re taking,” Bailey said.
Increased hygiene measures on public transport were introduced last year in response to COVID-19 and also included:
- Increased cleaning and sanitisation of stations, vehicles, and touch points
- Hand sanitiser at all train stations.
An additional 105 train services were also introduced and made permanent.
“We’ve since added a service capacity tracker on the TransLink website which gives commuters an idea on whether there are seats available on their bus, tram, train or ferry – or whether they might want to take the next service just a few minutes later,” the minister said.
Mr Bailey said the government would continue its investment in transport infrastructure including major projects like the $5.4bn Cross River Rail, $550million Sunshine Coast rail upgrade, $709m Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3 and state-wide smart ticketing system.
“Before COVID hit, we were on-track for a third record year of public transport patronage, and we want to make sure that as more people get on board, we have the infrastructure in place to accommodate that growth while also creating those much-needed jobs in industries like construction,” he said.
“It’s why we’re investing a record $26.9billion in roads and transport across the state over the next four years, supporting 23,600 jobs.”
Mr Bailey urged commuters to play their part by social distancing, to bring a mask if social distancing was impossible, and regularly washing their hands or using hand sanitiser.