From Sunday 17 May 2020, Transport for NSW has implemented new measures in order to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in light of the increased freedoms as restrictions on movement are eased. This include new restrictions on capacity in order to ensure physical distancing.
Public transport operators will be placing green ‘sit here’ stickers on seats of buses, trains and ferries in order to encourage passengers to sit physically distanced from Sunday 17 May 2020. This means that capacity will be restricted to approximately 12 passengers on a regular bus, 16 passengers on an articulated bus and 25 passengers on a double decker bus and around 28 passengers per train carriage. As part of these new restrictions, real time loading data will be changed to reflect the new capacity of vehicles.
These new restrictions will need to be enforced by passengers themselves in order to ensure the safety of the driver. Drivers won’t be able to refuse any passengers, but may request that they wait for the following service in order to comply with social distancing. In addition, these new restrictions will not apply to dedicated school services or school students catching regular services.
These new restrictions come on top of the many practises already in place across the network in order to ensure that all staff and passengers are kept safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes extra sanitising of all vehicles, blocking off the front seats closest to the driver, closing Opal readers in front of the driver and banning people from standing in front of the wheelchair area. Read more about those here.
These new restrictions are expected to be in place for the foreseeable future. Although they won’t be enforced, they will serve to reduce capacity across the public transport network. Most importantly, it is hoped that these restrictions will provide a vital circuit breaker to the spread of COVID-19.