As lockdown measures begin to ease across Australia, some workplaces are opening up again, sparking a lifestyle change for those who’ve been working from home for the past few months.
It’s not just a matter of sitting beside your colleagues again, but commuting to the office in peak hour, which in itself can raise health concerns as social distancing becomes more difficult.
New social distancing transport rules in NSW mean a maximum of 12 people will be allowed on buses, and up to 32 passengers per train carriage. Ferries will be able to carry 45 people at once.
Transport NSW will be placing stickers so people know where they can sit and stand on public transport.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has advised Sydneysiders to travel in off-peak periods between 10am and 2pm, or choose a mode of public transport that isn’t already at capacity.
“On buses and light rail, there is capacity, so you might want to think about a different way to do your journey in the morning,” Berejiklian said at a press conference on Monday.
“You might want to get dropped off at a ferry wharf or a light rail route. Both those modes are under capacity in the peak at the moment, however buses and trains are at capacity in the peak.”
She advised people to continue checking transport apps for updated information about timetables, seat availability and demand.
“We don’t want people to get the virus or spread the virus on public transport.
“There will be deep cleaning, extra measures in place. There will also be special identifications of where you should be sitting or standing on the transport.”
The premier said more “pop-up parking stations” will be made available in “employment hubs” across the city, such as Moore Park in Sydney’s south-east.
“In addition, Minister for Transport will have further details on pop-up bike lanes, encouraging people to use active transport,” she added.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the number of people on public transport will be monitored.
“In terms of policing measures that we can put in place, we do have the capacity to look at the numbers of people who are on train platforms and entering stations.
“If we have to close the station for 15 to 20 minutes, [we’ve] got that option.”