Opening up extra parking within the metropolis was additionally floated as an choice to encourage folks to drive as a substitute of catching public transport.
Whereas Sydney’s roads were largely deserted during the lockdown, transport skilled Geoffrey Clifton stated Transport for NSW must steadiness the wants of getting folks to work with well being measures aimed toward stopping one other outbreak.
“The roads is the place we’ll see the primary surge in demand,” stated Dr Clifton, a senior lecturer in transport and logistics on the College of Sydney.
Whereas busy or mismanaged roads will lead to extra site visitors, Dr Clifton stated trains or buses might pose a public well being threat. He stated the federal government should now “flatten the curve” when it got here to peak hour commuting, and encourage companies to permit folks to work exterior standard occasions. Extending peak hour providers is one other approach the federal government might handle crowding on public transport.
“Some buses sit round empty after peak hour, however the problem shall be the price of getting the drivers to maintain them on the street for just a few extra hours,” he stated.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union NSW division secretary David Babineau stated bus drivers would seemingly be open to extending peak hour providers.
“Spreading folks out would give drivers a greater peace of thoughts. The issue with that’s that everybody begins work on the identical time and that’s at all times been the issue,” he stated.
“With folks working from residence, hours have been different, there is a chance to attempt to reset the travelling sample for the height commutes.”
Mr Babineau stated TfNSW should both implement and police strict caps on the variety of folks allowed to get onto buses or present drivers with face masks.
“In the end we don’t need drivers to be in a state of affairs the place they’re policing that sort of factor. That is the place battle comes and we don’t want our drivers copping any extra abuse from folks,” he stated.
Union officers are anticipated to satisfy with the federal government on Friday to debate how the community shall be run in coming weeks. These discussions come amid rising tensions between the federal government and the union, which is combating the privatisation of the final state-owned bus networks.
In the meantime, College of Expertise transport skilled Mathew Hounsell stated the federal government had to make sure energetic transport choices had been made out there to maintain folks off the roads.
He stated changing some street or parking lanes with non permanent bike lanes can be a fast and low-cost response to the anticipated surge in site visitors.
“They gained’t be capable to have everybody driving, it’s simply not bodily potential,” Mr Hounsell stated.
Tom Rabe is Transport Reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald.