Traffic To Worsen As NSW Premier Reveals Big Changes To Your Commute
The NSW government has admitted congestion will worsen as public transport passenger limits are enforced to curb the spread of coronavirus.
To avoid outbreaks of COVID-19 and keep to social distancing, the state government will introduce passenger limits on buses, trains and ferries.
Two-door buses will be capped at 12 passengers, trains will be limited to 32 people per carriage and 245 people will be allowed on a ferry.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has urged residents to avoid using public transport in peak hours and walk, drive or ride a bike to work.
"It is not a message you would give without COVID... we normally encourage people to catch public transport, but given the constraints in the peak [hours] and the fact we are exercising social distancing, we want people to consider different ways to get to work," Berejiklian said on Monday.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance said there will be more congestion on the roads than usual but "people will have to be patient".
"We want to avoid crowded trains and buses and ferries and be safe and not contract the virus," he added.
It comes as the NSW government announces it will roll out pop-up car parks around Moore Park and Sydney's CBD, as well as additional bike lanes from Monday.
Constance said the government will spend around $4 million on introducing more than 10 kilometres of bike lanes throughout NSW.
Green stickers will be used on Sydney's public transport to remind commuters to keep to social distancing, Constance added.
"We are going to apply the 1.5 metres distance and people will have to stick to the green dots, find them and be safe," he said.
NSW Police will be deployed at train stations and will ride trains, buses and ferries to protect drivers from being harassed by commuters.
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said if a 13th person tried to board a bus with its new capacity of 12, "the bus will not be going anywhere".
Meanwhile, Berejiklian said she does not agree with Queensland keeping its border with NSW closed until September.
"I think closing borders doesn't help Australia, it doesn't help any of the states and it doesn't help our population [and] it doesn't help economic activity," Berejiklian said.
"We have to get real to the fact that many parts of the world will remain close for a long period of time. But if we're in Australia and can at least open up our internal borders, I think that will help everybody," she added.
Berejiklian also noted it was a returned traveller who'd stayed at a Brisbane hotel for their 14-day quarantine period who brought a case of the virus into the state last week.
"This notion that you're going to eradicate the virus from Australia completely is a little beyond reality."
NSW has recorded just one new case of coronavirus out of 6,000 tests in the past 24 hours.
A man in his 60s died of COVID-19 overnight, taking the national death toll to 99.
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