Concerned commuters say they were 'literally packed' into a bus on Stradbroke Island last weekend, July 19. Picture: supplied
Concerned commuters say they were 'literally packed' into a bus on Stradbroke Island last weekend, July 19. Picture: supplied

COVID time bomb as commuters jammed on TransLink buses

Southeast Queensland holiday-makers have been 'literally packed' into buses without windows or ventilation.

The Courier-Mail can reveal that TransLink is investigating the Stradbroke Island bus service following complaints from passengers who were squeezed into an overcrowded vehicle on the island last weekend in apparent contravention of COVID-19 guidelines.

Pictures from inside one such bus, which departed the Stradbroke Island Ferry terminal at around 9.40am on Sunday, show passengers 'literally packed' into the vehicle - with sitting and standing room totally exhausted.

Among the passengers was concerned commuter Leanne, who along with her travel companion spent the entire trip with "our heads down".

"There were no windows or anything to open for fresh air," she told T he Courier-Mail.

Leanne was one of the first passengers to board the bus and sat on one of four available seats.

"But little did we know, as we sat there, they just kept loading and loading and loading," she said.

 

Commuters raised concerns the packed buses contravened COVID-19 guidelines. Picture: Supplied
Commuters raised concerns the packed buses contravened COVID-19 guidelines. Picture: Supplied

 

"By the time we realised they were going to keep packing it we wouldn't have been able to get off."

"Hoping off, someone said 'it's a bit full isn't it for COVID?'.

"'Well you chose to hop on', is what the driver's response was."

A TransLink spokesman has confirmed that TransLink was investigating feedback about a crowded bus service on Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island).

The concern comes as Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey deemed southeast Queensland's public transport network 'safe'.

"The public transport network has adopted a number of initiatives to stem the spread of

 


COVID-19, including highlighting individual responsibilities in social distancing … enhanced sanitising of vehicles and stations, maintaining social distancing where possible … and scheduling larger vehicles at peak periods on busy routes," a TransLink spokesman said.

The Sunday Mail last weekend revealed that an extra 960 buses and 105 trains will be put into service to spread the morning and evening peak hours Monday-Friday from August 10.

 


Stradbroke Island Buses, had allocated an additional 57-seat bus to increase capacity during busy periods, particularly on the bus connection to ferry services, a TransLink spokesman said.

"We remind all customers to use common sense when travelling and leave a gap between customers from different households."

Stradbroke Island Buses did not respond to The Courier-Mail when asked for comment.

Originally published as COVID time bomb as commuters jammed on TransLink buses



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