By Juliano Oliveira
An extra 960 buses and 105 trains will be put into service between Monday and Friday, from 10 August, during peak hours on South East Queensland.
As an initiative to preserve social distancing and to ensure COVID-19 Safe Public Transport Plan, hand sanitisers will also be provided to commuters at busy train and bus stations.
Queensland Government expects an increase in the flux of passengers as university classes resumed and CBD offices re-opened. Compared to the same time last year, public transport patronage was down about 50%.
“We expect more people to return to public transport over the next few weeks,” Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said.
“We don’t expect those numbers to immediately climb back to where they were before COVID-19 arrived but we still want to spread passengers out as much as we can, and these extra services will help do that.”
Mr Bailey affirmed that the boost to morning and afternoon peak services will add almost 58,000 extra seats on buses and trains.
“The plan is to roll out the extra buses until the end of the school year and then assess patronage levels.
“If the demand is there, we will consider if these bus services should become permanent for the longer term.
“The good news for train commuters is the 21 weekly services we’re adding will become permanent additions to the timetable across seven lines.”
“Even with people making changes to their daily commute, we’re still seeing about 330,000 daily passenger trips on the network, as of last week.
“That’s why we’re adding more bus and train services to extend peak commuting times, which will allow us to spread passenger loads out across the mornings and afternoons.”
Mr Bailey said temporary hand sanitiser stations located at entry and exit points would be progressively rolled out.
“The hand sanitiser will be an extra option for passengers to practise personal hygiene, adding to the rigorous cleaning and sanitisation programs we’ve been running since March on public transport vehicles, stations and transport depots.
“We’re also continuing rear boarding on buses where possible and keeping payments cashless in SEQ to minimise contact between passengers and drivers.
“As more passengers return to public transport, we’re asking everyone to leave a gap, keep it clean by following health advice and adjust your travel to avoid travelling in peak periods if possible.”