Council needs to fast-track rail before gridlock
First train ride re-enacted for Queensland Rail's 150th birthday
Nambour a better option: Woombye anti-rail stabling group
South west Queensland pushes for more rail services for cattle
Tilt Trains set for a major overhaul
Ipswich celebrates heritage at Rail Museum on Open Day
Two rail lines earmarked for northern Australia
The $55.8 million dual gauge rail line from Acacia Ridge to Bromelton remains unfinished
Police investigate if fallen powerlines on Gold Coast train line work of vandals
Sourcing critical railway upgrade funding needs cool heads and smart solutions
Trains are running empty in South-East Queensland despite low COVID-19 cases, as "socially responsible" commuters turn to cycling and their cars to avoid other people.
Numbers released by Transport Minister Mark Bailey show train lines were up to 90 per cent empty in August, even at peak daily travel times.
He said 105 extra train services were added to support essential workers and promote social distancing on trains, contributing to the spare capacity.
The busiest service, the Springfield line, still had 38 per cent of its seats empty during peak travel hours.
However, University of Queensland psychology professor Alex Haslam, who studies human behaviour in a social context, said many people were avoiding public transport out of a sense of social responsibility.
"People think it's responsible for them not to use public transport," Professor Haslam said.
"They don't want to be responsible for transmitting [coronavirus] and they don't want to be creating risk for other members of their family if they were to contract the virus on the way to work.
"People recognise it's generally safe, but they have a sense that, 'If I don't need to do it, I won't'."
Alex Haslam warns there is a risk services could be cut due to lack of use.(Jessica Rendall)Professor Haslam said people were out of the habit of the daily commute as many were working from home.
"In the pandemic a lot of those habits were broken, and people have formed alternative habits."
He said people had turned to other modes of transport, such as cycling or driving, and could retain those even in a post-pandemic world.
"There's a constellation of factors that have made it a perfect storm for people's reluctance to use public transport," he said.
'Community leadership' needed to get people back on public transportProfessor Haslam warned the declining demand for public transport could mean the service takes a cut.
"The situation at the moment must be a bit of a nightmare, because it's costing a fortune to run trains and with nobody on them, you're not raising any revenue," he said.
"Public transport is a critical part of Brisbane's infrastructure and it would be tragic if we lost it through lack of use."
He said it would take leadership from within the community to encourage people back onto trains.
"[Humans] are group-based animals, so our behaviour is very much structured by what is perceived to be appropriate for the groups that we're members of.
"We look to members of our group to tell us what is the right thing to do in this situation."
Professor Haslam said more information about the safety of public transport during the pandemic could reassure people into riding trains again.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2021 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.