News > COVID-19: Return to full timetables on trains and buses under level 3
Valid from: 22/04/2020 12:00am
Following the Government’s COVID-19 alert level 3 announcement, Metlink has revealed its plans to return to full regular timetables on buses starting on Sunday 26 April and trains on Monday 4 May.
Under alert level 4 public transport has only been available as an essential service for essential workers and to enable members of the public to access essential services such as supermarkets, pharmacies and other health facilities. This essential service will be expanded under alert level 3 as businesses, early learning centres and schools start to reopen.
As part of the return to full timetables Metlink is urging all bus passengers making essential travel to start using Snapper cards from today to tag on and off so it can monitor passenger journeys. Metlink General Manager Scott Gallacher says Snapper data will give Metlink valuable insight to how the network is performing now and when it returns to full service during alert level 3.
“While Metlink fares will continue to be free for essential travel under Alert Level 3, we’re encouraging everyone to tag on and off on buses. Snapper information helps us understand how everyone’s using the bus network, identify any issues, and ensure services are meeting demand across the region,” says Scott Gallacher.
Bus passengers will be able to tag on and tag off at the back of the bus as part of a range of physical distancing and safety measures in place to protect bus drivers and passengers.
Bus passengers without a Snapper card can order one free by calling 0800 555 345 between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. Snapper cards will be delivered to home addresses preloaded with $5 in credit. Customers without a snapper card will not be left behind and will still be able to board the bus and travel until they get their free card.
Metlink is also reintroducing a full regular train timetable from Monday 4 May. Until 4 May, trains will be gradually increasing capacity to ensure we have sufficient capacity as people make more local journeys.
“Returning to full timetables on bus and rail is great news for passengers and the recovery of the region. We have hundreds of people working behind the scenes to update systems and help get all of our drivers, trains and buses back into action.
“We’re asking passengers to help us during this time and abide by the physical distancing measures in place even if that means missing out on their first choice train or bus as demands start to pick back up. Metlink’s real time information will be up and running as soon as we enter alert level 3 to help people plan journeys, and we’ll continue to update passengers with any developments on the Metlink website and app,” says Scott Gallacher.
Please note that physical distancing measures do mean our buses and trains will carry fewer passengers than normal. Thank you for your patience.
Ferry services will not return at alert level 3. Metlink is working with the ferry operator for a return at alert level 2.
“On behalf of Metlink and all our hard-working drivers, operators and staff, thank you for your understanding and support for minimising the impact of COVID-19 on our communities,” says Scott Gallacher.