Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance on Monday announced substantial changes to the state’s public transport services.
“As we ease [lockdown] restrictions, we will see more activity and more people returning to work, school and university,” Berejiklian said in a press release.
“Our number one priority remains keeping commuters safe, so we are ensuring there are plenty of safe and efficient options to get people moving throughout our state during the pandemic.”
In order to ensure the 1.5 metres of physical distancing required on public transport, the CovidSafe Transport Plan will place restrictions on the number of patrons permitted on Sydney’s trains, buses and ferries.
Under the new plan, only 600,000 commuters in the state will be able to use the public transport network each day.
Just 32 people will be allowed in a train carriage – which usually holds 123 passengers – and buses will be limited to carrying 12 commuters instead of their usual 63.
Ferry passengers will be capped at 45.
In a bid to stop crowding and the subsequent spread of the virus there will also be strict rules about where people can sit or stand on public transport.
Trains in Sydney were running at just 10 per cent capacity on Monday, as the state government encouraged people to slowly go back to work.
“We don’t want to see large crowds using public transport during peak hour,” Berejiklian said this morning.
“It requires only about 30 to 40 percent capacity to ensure social distancing, so obviously we can’t have everybody who normally uses peak hour public transport to go back at the same time.
“We will be recommending staggered work hours and a whole range of other initiatives.”
Special event-style parking arrangements will be in place at Moore Park for people who are able to drive to work.
Other locations will be rolled out soon.
In addition, car park operators will be offering special deals for all-day parking.
The government is also working with councils on establishing pop-up cycleways and enhancing pedestrian access to allow more people to find alternative routes to work.