Bus and Tram Express
Bus and Tram Express

Media Release: Union backs calls for mandatory masks on public transport

Oct 15, 2020COVID19 Media

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW has today joined in NSW Labor’s call for masks to be made mandatory on public transport when physical distancing is not possible, as well as calling for Covid marshals to be employed across the network to assist with public compliance.

RTBU NSW Secretary Alex Claassens says the slow uptake of mask wearing on public transport demonstrates the need for clear and decisive Government messaging on safety measures.

“The slow uptake of mask wearing on transport proves that these safety measures cannot simply be left to public goodwill,” says Mr Claassens.

“Physical distancing isn’t always possible on public transport, especially with more people returning to their offices for work. Making mask wearing mandatory for commuters is a simple, logical step to improve the safety of everyone on public transport.

“Evidently, the NSW Government needs to introduce Covid marshals on our trains, buses and trams to help enforce health regulations. Now is not the time to be removing staff from our public transport network, when its regulation is so crucial to slowing the spread of COVID-19.

“The Government has been dropping the ball on transport for many years, axing jobs and outsourcing operations to private companies whose first priority will always be profit, not people.

“Now we see the danger of privatising essential services like transport, when the public’s health and safety is at stake. The Government must step up put the public first in this crisis by laying down firm regulations and proper enforcement measures.”

Recent train routes with COVID-19 alerts include those to and from Parramatta, Eastwood, Strathfield and Glenfield.