If you’re planning on catching public transport in Sydney tomorrow, you might want to bring a book because it looks like it’s going to be a long day as thousands of workers and students begin to return to a COVID normal life.
Transport and logistics expert Dr Geoffrey Clifton told Sunrise that Sydney’s public transport system is going to be an absolute “nightmare” on Monday as the trains and buses attempt to run within strict social distancing guidelines.
The NSW government announced last weeks that buses will be limited to 12 people, while train carriages will be permitted to carry a maximum of 32 people in accordance with social distancing measures.
As you’d probably expect, this is going to make for a truly hellish day on Sydney’s public transport as hundreds of thousands take to the trains and buses to return to work and school on Monday morning.
“It’s going to be touch and go,” Clifton told Sunrise on Sunday. “We’re expecting roads to be far busier than they’ve been since the lockdown.”
“There’ll be a lot of people travelling back to work and back to school so we expect those numbers to be up immensely.”
Public transport hubs will see an increase in security and transport officers in an attempt to maintain order and peace during what is sure to be a hectic morning for commuters. However, they have been warned not to confront passengers in fear of “incidents” starting.
“It’s going to be very difficult for everybody to fit on (buses and trains), given the restrictions.”
But don’t go reaching for your car keys or booking an Uber to avoid the delays just yet because roads will likely be congested and gridlocked as well as thousands of people drive to work and school as close to 800,000 children return to the classroom tomorrow.
Thankfully, the government has implemented an additional 50 buses during peak periods to help accomodate the huge spike in travellers. Extra services will be rolled out from tomorrow on the 202, 285, B-line, 246, 247, 309, 309X, 324, and 372 routes, according to TfNSW.
The NSW Government is urging people to stay home or at least avoid public transport wherever possible to help minimise the strain on the system. Basically, if you don’t absolutely need to be on the train or bus tomorrow morning, don’t be.
If you need to catch public transport tomorrow, you might want to treat yourself to a sleep-in and catch a later train or bus once this hellish peak hour is over.