26 September 2023

Transport staff just the ticket

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Transport Canberra’s bus and light rail drivers, mechanics and support staff have been singled out for commendation after maintaining their operational timetable during the difficulties of the COVID-299 pandemic.

The staff members were singled out for recognition by their Minister, Chris Steel who said they had been “quietly and proudly delivering the important services that our community has relied on during the pandemic, and they deserve our thanks.”

Mr Steel said that while fewer people were using public transport, each journey was important.

He said the public transport system had seen a daily average of 8,873 journeys for the first week of term two, adecrease of around 85 per cent compared to the first week of term two 2019 which saw an average of 66,766 journeys.

“The decrease since mid-March is due to people working from home and taking heed of the ACT Government’s direction to only use bus and light rail services for essential travel,” Mr Steel said.

“We are now starting to see some Canberrans returning to public transport, which we are monitoring closely,” he said.

“There is a very real benefit for everyone, but particularly those travelling on public transport, to download the COVIDSafe app, so that you know if you’ve been in close contact with anyone on board with the virus.”

He said extra cleaning had been implemented at bus and light rail stations as well on-board vehicles.

“Precautions have also been taken to protect our bus drivers such as no longer accepting cash payments and only allowing rear door boarding except for those with mobility difficulties,” the Minister said.

“Social distancing is also being encouraged on board.”

He said Transport Canberra was looking at how social distancing and other measures could be promoted on public transport as more people start travelling.

“We are still asking Canberrans to reconsider the need to travel at this time,” Mr Steel said.

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