TRANSLINK is reiterating its call for people not to use buses and trains this Easter unless their journey is absolutely essential.
Translink is operating reduced frequency bus and train timetables and is urging people not to be tempted to use public transport to visit beaches or other beauty spots over Easter.
Minister for Infrastructure, Nichola Mallon said: “As we approach the Easter holiday period I know that many people would traditionally use this time to catch up with family and friends, take a short break to a holiday home or a day trip to a coastal area. This year, however, we MUST do things differently.
“We are now in an extraordinary time and we must listen to the advice and guidance on social distancing and help shield those who may be most vulnerable to the virus. The advice is clear, stay at home to save lives. I know this will be incredibly difficult, but we must each play our part in keeping ourselves and others safe, and slowing the transmission of COVID-19.
“Together we can fight back. Don’t put your family’s life in danger. Stay at home. Help play your part in saving lives this Easter.
“I also want to once again thank Translink and all its staff who have been working hard in challenging conditions to ensure that our public transport services continue to run to allow our health service staff and other key workers to get to their workplace.”
Translink Group Chief Executive Chris Conway said: “We know Easter is traditionally a time when people like to get out and about with family and friends to enjoy the longer spring days, but we need people to stay home this Easter, stay safe and only make journeys if absolutely necessary.
“Our holiday timetable is designed to serve those essential workers rather than leisure travel and as such we would appeal to the public to choose other fun Easter activities which can be enjoyed at home, for example, getting your kids involved in our #ChaseTheRainbow campaign. Our new bus and train colour-in templates are already proving popular and we would love to see more of these drawings coming in, to transform them into a new colourful collage to share hope and solidarity across our NI wide network.
“I would like to thank all our passengers who have sent comments of appreciation for our colleagues who are working in such challenging times to keep our services running for those who need us – this means a lot to the whole Translink team.
“Finally, we would once again urge passengers who must travel, to follow the expert advice, wash hands before you travel, follow social distancing rules and use cashless payment options or have the correct change, as change cannot be given on board”. Chris concluded.
What has Translink being doing to look after passengers and colleagues?
Social distancing – new signage on board our bus and train services to ensure people spread out and social distance from other passengers and our staff.
Perspex screens – ongoing fitment to the drivers cabs and in stations to shield public interaction between passengers and our staff.
Hygiene – Front line staff all have gloves and hand sanitisers.
We have also seen a big reduction in cash handling as more passengers turn to pre-paid ticketing options and contactless payments.
Cleaning – Rigorous deep cleaning regimes are in place and well as mobile cleaning squads out travelling throughout the day to keep multi-touch points clean.