26 September 2023

Transport picking up new COVID habits

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Post-COVID-19 research by the Department of Transport and Main Roads has revealed that some public transport users are travelling to work later in the morning to avoid crowded services.

However, despite more services running after 6pm to help spread passenger loads during the evening peak, most workers in Brisbane’s central business district are still knocking off at the same time.

The Department’s research also showed weekday public transport use remained lowest on Mondays and Fridays.

Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey said TransLink had been monitoring patronage across all modes, including the extra public transport services added to the South-East Queensland network in August to support social distancing.

“We’re now more than six months on from the severe travel restrictions that saw patronage on trains, buses, trams and ferries plummet by 80 per cent,” Mr Bailey said.

“Before COVID, we had two years in a row of record public transport use.”

Mr Bailey said the TransLink data was being used to guide changes to the temporary services that were added to the network in August.

“The TransLink data from the past few months tells us that the extra morning bus services added in August are popular and people like using them,” he said.

“Meanwhile, patronage on many of the extra bus services running after 6pm is generally very low and people are not choosing to work later to take advantage of them.”

The Minister said that based on those numbers, TransLink would keep running 175 additional weekly buses, most of them after the morning peak, until mid-2021.

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