Extra buses on some routes but reductions on others as Translink makes COVID-19 service changes
This is in response to customer demand and to better cater for essential workers who need to travel at peak times.
Minister for Infrastructure, Nichola Mallon MLA, said: “As we continue our fight against the COVID-19 outbreak and people are following Government advice to stay at home, I have approved a further adjustment in Translink’s service provision.
"This will allow Translink to focus their efforts on providing travel for key workers and ensure that people have access to essential services. However, let me be clear, no geographical area is losing services and people will continue to be able to practise social distancing on our public transport network.
“My priority at this time is keeping our communities safe and my Department is doing everything it can to ensure essential services and connections are maintained for those using and reliant on our infrastructure network. I will keep the public transport situation under constant review in line with government advice on public health.
“I continue to offer my support and gratitude to Translink staff for their ongoing dedication in operating these vital frontline services at this challenging time.
“Finally, I want to emphasise once again that people should only travel if their journey is absolutely essential. If we continue to work together we can play our part in the fight back and save lives.”
Translink Chief Executive Chris Conway said: “This new weekend timetable will see some additional peak services across the network introduced for essential workers, in particular, those travelling to local hospitals and healthcare facilities. We also have extra buses in place on some routes to ensure we have capacity to allow for social distancing.
“However, off peak frequencies will be reduced on Ulsterbus at weekends alongside Metro Saturday evening services in response to customer demand.
“As always, the safety and wellbeing of our passengers and employees is vitally important to us and as such we have continued to introduce measures to keep everyone safe. This includes new social distancing signage in stations and on board, regular deep cleaning of vehicles and facilities, use of mobile cleaning teams during the day, erecting screens to reduce staff and passenger interaction on board and in stations; and providing hand sanitiser and gloves to front line staff.
“Also, the no change policy on board is helping to reduce the interaction and thank-you to our passengers for moving to pre-paid tickets when possible such as mLink or contactless payments.
“We would once again appeal to the public to stay home, stay safe and save lives, if you must travel, follow the expert advice on social distancing and handwashing. There will be better days ahead and we look forward to welcoming our passengers back on board then”, he concluded.
Keep up to date with all the essential advice and any further changes on the webpage www.translink.co.uk/covid19update journey planner or call the contact centre on 02890 666630