Prime Mover Magazine

Transport for NSW responds to Covid-19, activates taskforce

The NSW Government and Transport for NSW understands the critical role that all modes of transport are playing as the state deals with the coronavirus outbreak.

Transport for NSW Secretary, Rodd Staples, said his agency is committed to maintaining vital services to support customers and staff, including essential health and emergency services.

"It is clearly not business as usual at the moment but we know our network remains a critical part in keeping essential services running,” said Staples.

"While we support Government advice to avoid non-essential travel it is clear we must ensure our network remains safe and viable for the efforts going into containing Coronavirus.

"A key part of our role is ensuring goods and services are able to get to where they are needed most, including supermarkets. The team is continuing to work closely with the freight industry to ensure we don’t see any barriers emerge in critical supply chains, across roads, ports and rail," he said.

Transport for NSW has increased cleaning right across the network and ramped up public messaging about personal hygiene right across the network.

In the past two weeks, NSW has seen declines and shifts in travel patterns across all modes of transport.

Staples said there has been a state-wide decline in public transport of around 40-45 per cent in the past two weeks.

"It is no surprise to anyone that customer numbers are down across our trains, buses, ferries and light rail due to the coronavirus outbreak, however importantly this has created sufficient space on all modes to allow our customers to socially distance themselves in the majority of cases," said Staples.

“It is clear our customers are following the important advice from the Government to stay at home if you are feeling sick and to avoid non-essential travel.

"We are also placing a great deal of effort to ensure our frontline workers are being supported and are as safe as possible," he said. "I am proud of the work they are doing."

Transport for NSW Coronavirus Taskforce Director, Mark Hutchings, said his team is proactively addressing issues as they occur across the network while coordinating with the whole of Government response.

"The Taskforce is putting customer and staff safety at the forefront of its decision making," said Hutchings. "We are receiving the most up to date real time information from health and operational professionals."

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