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While Brisbane residents are returning to work in person, and bus and ferry patronage inches upward, rail patronage is still 80 per cent below its usual turnover.
Figures provided by TransLink show how residents stopped using trains across south-east Queensland over the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic began and stay-at-home orders were issued by the federal and state governments.
Patronage on Queensland trains dropped more than 80 per cent across April and May.CREDIT:ROBERT SHAKESPEARE
While total numbers of trips on south-east Queensland trains weren't provided by TransLink, year-on-year patronage percentages show in the second week of February this year, use was down 1.09 per cent compared with 2019.
Throughout February and into early March, patronage stayed about the same as the year before, until the week starting March 22, when a 35 per cent drop in patronage was recorded.
The next week patronage tanked 68.6 per cent compared with 2019 figures, and in the week starting April 5, patronage dropped by 83.4 per cent.
The worst week was the week starting April 12, when patronage was 85 per cent down compared with the same week last year, before it began inching back up to 80 per cent in the first week of May.
A TransLink spokesman said trains were running on a regular timetable throughout Queensland to support essential workers and students.
"Present health advice is to limit all non-essential travel and we thank our customers for following this advice," the spokesman said.
"As a result, we saw passenger trips on the south-east Queensland rail network drop by 80 per cent during the week ending Sunday, May 10, when compared with the corresponding week in 2019.
"We expect to see patronage increase on public transport services in coming weeks with school classes resuming and some restrictions relaxed."
This article first appeared on www.brisbanetimes.com.au
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