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More people will be allowed to sit together on Sydney trains, and additional trains will be put into service, after COVID-19 risks for commuters were downgraded.
The increase in available seats comes as community transmission of the coronavirus remains low in NSW.
“We are at a stage where we can safely let more people onto the public transport network,” NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance said.
The city’s Waratah trains will allow 86 instead of 68 people per carriage under the new rules.
A typical bus will increase available seats from 23 to 27.
[img]https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/e543a859061044abd9e0cbb08e887304?width=650[/img]More trains will be put in service to prevent overcrowding. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Joel Carrett
Transport NSW will also add 1200 extra trains onto the rails to reduce overcrowding.
But although the “green dots” allocating available seats will be increased, officials still urge commuters to plan ahead and make sure the train isn't packed beyond the capacity for physical distancing.
“We’re seeing about 6 per cent of services where we don’t have good physical distancing, so we’re still maintaining the marshalling, we’re still maintaining the cleaning,” Mr Constance said.
“But we need everybody to be mindful, particularly during peak periods in the morning.”
Mr Constance urged people to mask up on trains and buses, although he said it was unlikely to be made mandatory.
“We don’t want to be in a position where we’re waving a big stick around, fining people and denying them service,” he said.
“Let’s just keep working together, and we’ll keep making that request of the community.”
This article first appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au
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