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COVID-19: Travel advice and information

Latest travel changes

COVID-related staff shortages have impacted most public transport services.

We are managing these impacts to ensure the safety of our customers and staff while also providing vital transport services.

We thank customers for their patience and ask that people plan ahead and allow extra travel time.

If you need to move around, we ask you to:

  • plan ahead and use the Trip Planner to see the latest service information.
  • wear a mask, face masks are mandatory on public transport, including taxi and rideshare services.
  • consider your travel options, including travelling off peak, walking, cycling and driving if possible.

Travel tips

To help you plan ahead on public transport we have updated the capacity information available. Plan safe and comfortable trips by checking service capacity. Look for the indicators at stations, stops and wharves, in the Opal Travel app, the Trip Planner and Departures.

Real time capacity

Plan ahead and check capacity before boarding the service:

Estimated capacity in the Trip Planner and Opal Travel App

Estimated capacity information is now available for all metro and train, Opal-enabled bus, ferry and light rail services in the Trip Planner and Opal Travel App to help you plan ahead. Based on previous data, the estimated capacity is used whenever real-time data is unavailable.

If you see:

  • A one person icon and/or green indicator shows space available.
  • A two person icon and/or amber/orange indicator shows limited space to maintain distance from other passengers.
  • A three person icon and/or red indicator shows the service has reached capacity.

Travel Notifications on the Opal Travel app provide advanced personalised alerts for capacity on trains and Metro, all without having to plan a trip.

The new features allows you to know in advance, plan and see when a service is most likely to have available capacity on board, rather than arriving at the station to find the service is already at full capacity. The notifications will also let you know if your service is running on time or delayed and if it is impacted by a major disruption.

Eligibility

If you have an active Opal Card and have used it to pay for your regular travel over the last 21 days by train or Metro, please download the Opal Travel app to the latest version and subscribe to travel notifications.

How to set it up

If you are eligible, you will be invited to opt in based on your recent travel patterns. The travel notifications banner will display on the home screen allowing you to follow the prompts to set up the notifications.   

Once you have successfully set up the notifications, you will receive a notification 30 minutes before each specified departure time. The notification will provide information for your regular train/Metro service, such as predicted capacity on board, and other services.

Face masks are mandatory on public transport and point to point services, which includes taxis, rideshare and hire car services, across NSW. Fines will apply.

You should continue to take personal responsibility regarding your travel plans and follow all NSW Health advice. This includes not travelling if unwell, practising good hygiene as well as wearing your own mask.

If you are travelling, we are asking you to follow these safety and hygiene measures to help protect you and everyone else on the transport network:

  • Wear a face mask
  • Stay home if unwell
  • Wash your hands regularly to protect yourself, fellow commuters and Transport for NSW staff
  • Cover any sneezes or coughs with your inner elbow or with a tissue that is then discarded
  • Use hand sanitiser
  • Use Opal or contactless payments to pay for your travel

What we are doing

Transport for NSW would like to thank our customers and staff across NSW for their support and hard work during this time.

We're continuing to do everything we can to make our network as safe as possible to travel on.

We have increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning across all public transport, including staff wiping down high-touch surfaces across the network with strong disinfectant every day.

Help is available for those who need it.

At stations and on buses staff will deploy ramps, help with questions and provide directions.

On the Sydney Light Rail, Drivers will deploy the ramp on L1 Dulwich Hill Line services, while L2 Randwick Line and L3 Kingsford Line are fully accessible. It means you can board and alight services independently. For urgent assistance, help points are available on all platforms and onboard all light rail vehicles.

We have deployed hundreds of extra staff at stations, interchanges, wharves and stops to assist any customer with visual impairments or any other disability.

Transport for NSW acknowledges some customers do not have visible disabilities. We want to assure them our staff will be there to help either in person on the network or through our customer service phone lines.

Priority seating is available on every public transport mode for our priority customers.

Children and customers requiring assistance, such as those with disability, will be given priority access. If you feel uncomfortable and choose to get off, please be patient while waiting for the next service.

Light rail journeys have been made safer with doors now opening automatically at every stop to minimise your contact with light rail vehicles.

Staff will validate tickets without contact via Opal card payment.

Opal single tickets are no longer sold on bus services across the Opal network. You can use an Opal card, or contactless credit or debit card or device to pay for your travel.

We publish multi-modal travel data to help you plan ahead and understand the latest travel trends. You can filter by public transport mode, day of the week or key commercial centres in greater Sydney and regional NSW. See Travel Insights dashboard.

Other modes of transport

To help keep yourself and others safe and keep traffic levels lower, we’re encouraging everyone to walk and cycle if they can.

By choosing to walk and cycle to work, school, the shops or for local trips, you are keeping yourself fit and healthy, saving money and staying safe.

Pop-up cycleways

We are working with councils across Sydney and surrounds to open new pop-up cycleways that connect to existing cycling routes and employment hubs.

Speed limits along these cycle routes are reduced to provide a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists.

Find out more about pop-up transport options and locations.

Plan your walking or cycling trip

You can use the Trip Planner to plan a bike ride or walking route for all or part of your trip. Select your preference for:

  • walking or cycling
  • how long you want to allow for each option
  • your preferred speed

Pedestrians are reminded

  • Roads may be less congested, but stick to the Road Rules for pedestrians. These include:
    • obeying signals at crossings
    • crossing at a pedestrian crossing if one is available
    • not walking on the road (unless there’s no footpath or nature strip to walk on)

Automated pedestrian crossings

Automated pedestrian crossings at traffic lights within the Sydney CBD and key health districts across the Greater Sydney area are active 24 hours a day to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

You do not have to push the button at signalised crossings to safely cross the road in the CBD or these health districts.

Bicycle riders are reminded

  • Ride on low traffic roads/dedicated bike paths or shared paths if you are a new or less experienced rider
  • Roads may be less congested, but stick to all the Road Rules for bicycle riders; these include:
    • wear an approved helmet, securely fitted and fastened
    • use lights at the front and back at night or when the light is poor
    • if you’re riding with children under the age of 16, you can ride on the footpath; however, you must keep left and give way to pedestrians
  • Give yourself plenty of buffer space, look out for car doors opening and leave yourself room to stop
  • Increase your visibility by wearing bright or high-vis clothing
  • Use your own bike if you can and make sure it is well maintained – tyres are pumped, chain is oiled and brakes are working

For more cycling information:

Face masks must be worn at all times by passengers and drivers in point to point vehicles (taxis and hire vehicles, including rideshare) and at taxi ranks, which includes any area where persons queue or gather when waiting at a taxi rank.

NSW Health advises you to travel in the back seat with a mask on.

Should a passenger not be wearing a mask, a driver may refuse to provide a point to point service as it may be a safety risk. This does not apply to children under 12 or persons with a physical or mental health illness or condition, or disability that makes wearing a fitted face covering unsuitable including, for example, a skin condition, an intellectual disability, autism or trauma.

Some travel advice when using taxis, rideshare and hire cars:

  • Do not travel if unwell
  • Practise good hygiene
  • Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze
  • Sit in the backseat of the vehicle
  • Use contactless payments where possible
  • Handle your own luggage where possible

Our Point to Point commissioner is working closely with the industry to provide additional advice and support, including new vehicle sanitisation stations in 13 locations across the state.

Drivers are reminded to obey the road rules and take care.

Drivers and motorcycle riders are reminded

  • Continue to follow the Road Rules
  • Watch your speed and always comply with speed limits; lower speeds reduce the severity of crashes
  • Keep a lookout for pedestrians on, or crossing, the road – there are many more around
  • Look out for bicycle and delivery riders – always check your blind spots and remember to observe the minimum passing distance for bikes too:
  • 1 metre when the speed limit is 60km/h or less
  • 5 metres when the speed limit is more than 60km/h