SIPTU calls for reduced passenger numbers on public transport to protect users from Covid-19
SIPTU Transport Sector Organiser, John Murphy, has called for an immediate reduction of passenger numbers on public transport services in order to protect passengers and staff from the Covid-19 virus. He also called on the National Transport Authority (NTA) to reverse its decision to reduce public transport services from 1st April in order to prevent overcrowding and a breach of social distancing requirements.
In a letter today (27th March), to the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross and the NTA, John Murphy has expressed the concern of SIPTU members at the decision to reduce public transport services from 1st April. He also complained at the failure to respond to a letter in relation to the safety of passengers and staff sent to the Minister and the NTA two weeks ago.
John Murphy said: “While we recognise that passenger numbers have dropped significantly due to the Covid-19 emergency, our members are concerned that packing more people into fewer transport vehicles will increase the risk of exposure to the Covid-19 virus for passengers and staff, particularly at peak travel times.
“It is vital that health care and other workers at the frontline of fighting the coronavirus are transported to work and we have to ensure that, along with all passengers and staff, they can travel in the safest possible conditions.
“We raised these and other important issues concerning the health and safety for passengers and staff in a letter to the Department of Transport and the NTA on 16th March but have yet to receive a formal reply. We sought assurances on revised vehicle capacity numbers in order to ensure that passengers and staff can comply with social distancing requirements.
“In light of their decision to reduce public transport services on 1st April, we are again calling on the transport authorities to revise capacity in order to ensure that passengers and workers can continue to keep the country moving in the safest possible manner.”
SIPTU represents over 5000 workers across the public train, bus and tram system.