Message from the Secretary of DPC Tim Reardon


Update to the NSW Public Sector on COVID-19

28 April 2020

With the gradual easing of some restrictions there will be an increased level of activity on the transport network.

Schools will incrementally see increased numbers of students back to face to face teaching. These students as usual will use public transport, walk, cycle, or be driven to school.

Both Transport and Education have been working very closely on ensuring the implementation of the staged return to students being physically at schools is done with a great deal of care.

Over many weeks now, Transport teams have been working around the clock, rolling out additional cleaning on the network, providing hand sanitiser across high volume interchange points, establishing a 24/7 incident management hotline and expanding the state-wide network of mental health support.

Like most other areas of the economy the transport system has seen dramatic shifts in customer movement. Regular commuters in the metropolitan areas have heeded the NSW Health advice to stay home, and the average daily travel numbers of around 2.4 million customers has decreased to around 400,000 since late March.

Importantly however, the Transport Cluster has maintained the usual frequency of transport services daily. They have done this to make social distancing more manageable and the transport network safe. They have also done so because it will make for a more manageable build-up of customers back onto the transport system as some restrictions, such as for schools, are gradually lifted.

Transport has a dedicated “Stay Informed” site which has had more than 75,000 visits since it was launched a month ago. They also have 30,000 posters deployed across 300 train stations, 40 light rail stops, 13 Metro stops and 35 ferry wharves. "Limit the spread" emails have been delivered to approximately 750,000 customers and an alert on the Opal travel app has reached approximately 800,000 users. The numbers speak for themselves.

Another important dimension of the work the Transport Cluster has been doing has been engaging with and supporting the freight industry, to ensure critical supplies are being delivered to hospitals and supermarkets in a timely manner. This has spanned the full freight and logistic chain from shipping to ports to land transport.

Transport for NSW established a Coronavirus Task Force which is working with other government agencies to centralise their communications and ensure a flow of accurate, timely information to address customer, staff, and media enquiries.

Automation, technology, innovation have all come to the fore. Tram doors now open automatically at platforms to minimise contact on all light rail services. Automated pedestrian crossings at traffic signals within the Sydney CBD and key health districts across the Greater Sydney area are now active 24 hours a day. And Transport staff are able to validate payments made with Opal cards without contact.

Practical and pragmatic responses so that the transport system can keep delivering for its millions of customers. These will be incredibly important as part of a ‘new normal’ way of getting around when restrictions may be lifted in future and more and more people emerge from working from home.

For putting all of this in place so quickly, we thank you.

To the frontline people of the Transport Cluster – you are the backbone of the network and you continue to underpin the proper functioning of the NSW economy. The hundreds of extra cleaners across the network who have worked an extra 83,000 hours since the beginning of March, the ICT staff who established new ways of service delivery and working for thousands of people in the Cluster, the thousands of people who are working from home supporting their frontline colleagues, operational staff who have adapted the services to this new normal, the 200 transport staff helping out NSW Health. Thank you one and all – pride and passion is in your DNA.

People at the heart. Customer at the centre. For the Greater good.

Tim



Update to the NSW Public Sector on COVID-19

28 April 2020

With the gradual easing of some restrictions there will be an increased level of activity on the transport network.

Schools will incrementally see increased numbers of students back to face to face teaching. These students as usual will use public transport, walk, cycle, or be driven to school.

Both Transport and Education have been working very closely on ensuring the implementation of the staged return to students being physically at schools is done with a great deal of care.

Over many weeks now, Transport teams have been working around the clock, rolling out additional cleaning on the network, providing hand sanitiser across high volume interchange points, establishing a 24/7 incident management hotline and expanding the state-wide network of mental health support.

Like most other areas of the economy the transport system has seen dramatic shifts in customer movement. Regular commuters in the metropolitan areas have heeded the NSW Health advice to stay home, and the average daily travel numbers of around 2.4 million customers has decreased to around 400,000 since late March.

Importantly however, the Transport Cluster has maintained the usual frequency of transport services daily. They have done this to make social distancing more manageable and the transport network safe. They have also done so because it will make for a more manageable build-up of customers back onto the transport system as some restrictions, such as for schools, are gradually lifted.

Transport has a dedicated “Stay Informed” site which has had more than 75,000 visits since it was launched a month ago. They also have 30,000 posters deployed across 300 train stations, 40 light rail stops, 13 Metro stops and 35 ferry wharves. "Limit the spread" emails have been delivered to approximately 750,000 customers and an alert on the Opal travel app has reached approximately 800,000 users. The numbers speak for themselves.

Another important dimension of the work the Transport Cluster has been doing has been engaging with and supporting the freight industry, to ensure critical supplies are being delivered to hospitals and supermarkets in a timely manner. This has spanned the full freight and logistic chain from shipping to ports to land transport.

Transport for NSW established a Coronavirus Task Force which is working with other government agencies to centralise their communications and ensure a flow of accurate, timely information to address customer, staff, and media enquiries.

Automation, technology, innovation have all come to the fore. Tram doors now open automatically at platforms to minimise contact on all light rail services. Automated pedestrian crossings at traffic signals within the Sydney CBD and key health districts across the Greater Sydney area are now active 24 hours a day. And Transport staff are able to validate payments made with Opal cards without contact.

Practical and pragmatic responses so that the transport system can keep delivering for its millions of customers. These will be incredibly important as part of a ‘new normal’ way of getting around when restrictions may be lifted in future and more and more people emerge from working from home.

For putting all of this in place so quickly, we thank you.

To the frontline people of the Transport Cluster – you are the backbone of the network and you continue to underpin the proper functioning of the NSW economy. The hundreds of extra cleaners across the network who have worked an extra 83,000 hours since the beginning of March, the ICT staff who established new ways of service delivery and working for thousands of people in the Cluster, the thousands of people who are working from home supporting their frontline colleagues, operational staff who have adapted the services to this new normal, the 200 transport staff helping out NSW Health. Thank you one and all – pride and passion is in your DNA.

People at the heart. Customer at the centre. For the Greater good.

Tim