COVID-19: Safer travel guidance
Transport is a key part of NSW’s plan for a COVID Safe economy. We are helping NSW safely move around and return to jobs, and supporting businesses so they can plan for their workforces.
Transport for NSW would like to thank our customers and staff across NSW for their ongoing support during this time.
We're doing everything we can to make our network as safe as possible to travel on.
What we are doing
We have increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning across all public transport. Some modes are being cleaned up to four times a day. We have hired an extra 1,210 cleaners and increased to more than 590,000 extra hours of cleaning since March.
Our staff are:
- Wiping down high-touch surfaces like handrails and Opal readers with strong disinfectant every day.
- Cleaning key interchanges more frequently throughout the day
- Installing hand sanitiser at key transport hubs, including at high demand stations.
Hundreds of extra transport staff have been deployed to key transport interchanges and hubs across Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and the Blue Mountains.
There are Marshalling Response and Support Teams at key interchange locations including:
- Wynyard, Blacktown, Hurstville and Chatswood.
- Key regional hubs including Lismore, Shellharbour, Bathurst, Nowra, Tweed Heads, Albury and Bega.
These teams monitor physical distancing, assist with crowd management and provide guidance to customers that require assistance.
To help you maintain physical distancing measures on the network, we are:
- Tracking passenger numbers in near real-time to help manage customer flow and crowding.
- Increasing public transport services where capacity and resources are available.
- Controlling access to platforms, stations and interchanges to help manage physical distancing where necessary.
- Rolling out green physical distance capacity stickers across all modes to provide guidance.
- Deploying extra staff at stations, interchanges, wharves and stops to assist customers with physical distancing as they move through the network. These marshals will also be available to assist any customer with visual impairments or any other disability.
Physical distancing onboard capacity guidelines
- To maintain physical distancing on public transport, capacity restrictions are in place. The number of seats available per travel mode are shown below.
- Figures refer to both seated and standing capacity.
- From 1 July you will see more green dots to reflect the increase in capacity available from that date.
- Figures are indicative and are subject to change. Please check capacity before boarding.
|Mode||Number of green dots per vehicle|
Sydney Metro North West
Inner West light rail
CBD and South East light rail
Newcastle light rail
Help is available for those who need it.
At stations and on buses staff will deploy ramps, help with questions and provide directions.
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, even if this means a service goes over physical distancing capacity. If you feel uncomfortable and choose to get off, please be patient while waiting for the next service.
Light rail journeys will be made safer with doors now opening automatically at platforms to minimise your contact with trams.
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.
What you can do
- You can use public transport but please consider active travel options such as cycling and walking.
- Plan ahead, avoid travelling in the busiest times and routes if you can.
- Keep your distance from others, clean your hands frequently
- Use Opal and contactless payments.
If you are not already using public transport during peak times, please do not start now. Services are already close to capacity to allow for distancing at these times. Off-peak times are between 10am and 3pm. See our peak times.
To help you plan ahead and allow for physical distancing on public transport we have updated the capacity information available.
Real time capacity
To see if you can to maintain physical distancing on board Waratah trains and Opal enabled buses, check:
- on station indicator screens for Waratah trains
- in the Trip Planner results (on this site and the Opal Travel app)
- in third party apps
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:
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:
- Wearing a face mask is strongly recommended
- 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
- Maintain physical distancing where possible
You’ll see distinctive green dots on public transport. They are there to show you the safest places to sit and stand.
Physical distancing capacity limits on services means you may be asked to wait for the next service.
School children and those who require assistance, such as those with disability will be given priority access.
- Avoid close contact with other people at stops, stations and on board services
- Avoid close contact with staff at stations, stops, wharves and on board services
- On buses, do not use the Opal reader at the front of the bus and stand behind the red no standing zone
- On light rail, please sit away from the driver's cabin as directed
On completion of 14 days quarantine, NSW Health clinically screens each person to confirm they are without fever, and without signs or symptoms of respiratory tract infections and are no longer required to quarantine. You can then use public transport if necessary.
The Queensland Government is relaxing entry to certain NSW Postcodes / LGAs from 1am Thursday 1 October 2020. However, a border zone pass will need to be presented – more information can be found here.
There are no train services into Queensland until further restrictions are lifted, however from 2 October, the following coach services into Queensland will resume.
- 176 – 14.30 Brisbane to Casino
- 175 – 19.08 Casino to Brisbane
- 163 – 02.36 Casino to Surfers Paradise
- 164 – 05.00 Surfers Paradise to Casino
- 173 – 19.11 Casino to Surfers Paradise
- 171 – 19.20 Casino to Robina
- 172 – 15.00 Surfers Paradise to Casino
- 174 – 16.00 Robina to Casino
NSW TrainLink will not be providing coaches to the remaining journey to QLD once the train stops at Casino.
Our Coach operators have the correct permits for this essential service, however you will need to ensure you meet the Queensland entry requirements before you travel.
People travelling from Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory can still enter Queensland subject to completing a Queensland Border Declaration Pass and undertaking to present for a COVID-19 test if they develop symptoms.
People who have been in declared hotspots in the past 14 days must not enter Queensland.
Returning Queensland residents must complete a Queensland Border Declaration Pass and will be subject to government-directed quarantine.
From 8 July 2020, under a new NSW public health order, the NSW Government temporarily closed the NSW/Victorian border.
Under the Public Health (COVID-19 Border Control) Order 2020, other than returning NSW residents, only limited categories of people are able to cross the border, such as:
- Critical service providers including agriculture and mining workers
- Emergency services workers
- People requiring medical treatment
- Children attending boarding school
- People needing to meet legal obligations
Critical service providers include people involved in the movement of freight or people on a commercial basis, and people working in the maintenance and repair of critical infrastructure.
The order also includes exemptions for border community residents based on them holding a permit.
If you live or work near the border and are required to cross you must obtain a permit. You can do this by going to Service NSW website.
NSW TrainLink services to and from Victoria
To comply with border closures due to COVID-19, NSW TrainLink will temporarily stop the XPT service into Victoria from 7 July.
While closures are in place the XPT service will only operate between Albury and Central Station.
From Tuesday 28 July, NSW TrainLink has restarted the below coach services within NSW:
- 725/726 Cootamundra to Mildura operating daily (coach stops located in Mildura and Robinvale remain temporarily suspended).
- 733/734 Wagga Wagga to Echuca operating Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday (Starts/Ends at Moama. Echuca remains temporarily suspended.
- 741/742 Albury to Echuca operates Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (Starts / Ends at Moama. Coach stops located in Echuca, Cobram and Yarrawonga remain temporarily suspended).
Coach service 587/588 Broken Hill Town to Mildura remains temporarily suspended.
From 1 July, a new Public Health Order will prevent any person who has been in Melbourne’s restricted postcodes from travelling to NSW.
The NSW Government will impose penalties on people who have been in Melbourne’s restricted postcodes who seek to enter NSW unless they are a NSW resident returning home, or they can claim special circumstances such as urgent medical care or compassionate care.
If they fail to comply with the Public Health (COVID-19 Interstate Hotspots) Order 2020, they could face up to six months in prison, a fine of up to $11,000, or both. Customers need to continue to plan their travel and book ahead on the NSW TrainLink regional train and coach services.
In addition, from 1 July 2020, coaches will no longer supplement train services. An updated physical distancing seat template has been implemented to increase seating capacity.
In some regional areas, bus stops could be in remote locations and services less frequent.
We are working closely with bus operators so enough services are available to make physical distancing possible while not leaving anyone behind.
In these cases we will be helping customers to keep as much space as possible between each other, and practise good hygiene.
Supporting students returning to school
Transport for NSW is working closely with the Department of Education and the education sector and is playing a vital role in supporting students getting back to school.
The NSW Government’s policy is to not leave a school student behind.
There are currently no physical distancing restrictions on dedicated school services.
School students will be given priority over other customers on general services, even if this means a service goes over physical distancing capacity.
Adults may have to wait for the next service or may choose to get off if they are not comfortable with how many customers are on a service.
Parents and carers should make travel choices which suit their individual circumstances, including driving, walking and cycling.
Transport for NSW continues to ramp-up cleaning across the network with a daily focus on high-touch areas like handrails and Opal readers.
Students are reminded to tap on and tap off using their Opal cards on Opal enabled services.
Everyone must remember they have a role to play in making the public transport network as safe as possible.
Our frontline people have been doing an amazing job and we ask everyone to continue to show respect and understanding.
More than 20 kilometres of pop-up cycleways will be rolled out in the coming months across high priority routes across Sydney including, Randwick, Parramatta and Sydney CBD. Pop-up cycleways will also be rolled out in outer metropolitan and regional areas in the coming months including Newcastle, Wollongong and Goulburn.
In addition there will be lower speed limits at eight busy locations across Sydney to provide a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists, with more locations to come. Find out more about pop-up transport options.
Plan your trip
You can use the Trip Planner to plan a trip that connects with public transport with options available for walking, cycling or taxi/drive, or even just choose to walk or cycle the whole way by clicking the walking or cycling tab.
Just select your preference for walking, cycling, how long you want to allow for each option and your preferred speed.
Moore Park precinct - Park, Walk & Cycle
As part of the COVID Safe Transport Plan, Transport for NSW is supporting people returning to jobs in the Sydney CBD through the establishment of a pop-up ‘parking hub’ in Moore Park, opened on Monday 25 May 2020. You can drive and park for free in the pop-up carpark at Moore Park and then continue your journey into the city by cycling or walking. Find out more about the Moore Park parking hub.
Pedestrians – we’re reminding you to:
- Remember the physical distancing rule
- 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)
- Never assume a driver has seen you or intends to stop
- Look out before you step out
- Avoid crossing the road while using headphones or mobile phones
- Always hold the hand of children when crossing the road
- Heads up and play it safe around light rail
Automated pedestrian crossings
Automated pedestrian crossings at traffic lights within the Sydney CBD and key health districts across the Greater Sydney area are now active 24 hours a day to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
You now do not have to push the button at signalised crossings to safely cross the road in the CBD or these health districts.
- Location of pedestrian crossings within the Sydney CBD (pdf 531KB)
- See where these new pedestrian crossings are located across NSW
Bicycle riders – we’re reminding you to:
- Ride to ensure physical distancing
- 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:
Drivers are reminded to obey the road rules and take care.
Drivers and motorcycle riders – we’re reminding you to:
- 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
- 1.5 metres when the speed limit is more than 60km/h
If you have to travel by car into the Sydney CBD or other CBD precincts for work, plan ahead and consider the available car park options.
Check commercial car park websites or local council websites for more details on available parking locations near your place of work.
Moore Park precinct - Park, Walk & Cycle
As part of the COVID Safe Transport Plan, Transport for NSW is supporting people returning to jobs in the Sydney CBD through the establishment of a pop-up ‘parking hub’ in Moore Park, opened on Monday 25 May 2020, where you can continue your trip into the city on foot or by bike.
Park your vehicle for free in the pop-up Moore Park Showground Field grass carpark located on the southern end of Driver Avenue, entry from Lang Road or Moore Park Road.
The pop-up car park is open from 6am until 10pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) and has capacity for 980 vehicles. Note, there will be no on-grass parking in the Kippax Lake area at the northern end of Driver Avenue.
From the carpark you can walk to the city using the Albert ‘Tibby’ Cotter Walkway, continuing down Devonshire Street towards Central Station. The walk takes approximately 25 minutes. If you’re travelling by bike you can also use the Albert ‘Tibby’ Cotter Walkway or the new pop-up cycleway along Moore Park and Fitzroy Street to connect with existing cycleways and continue your trip into the city.
For anyone unable to walk or cycle, you can catch the light rail from the Moore Park stop on Anzac Parade.
Please note, on weeknights when there are events held at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the Showground Field car park will be closed to commuters a few hours prior to the SCG gate open times and will be used for event operations. Flat-rate event parking fees will apply from such time, see upcoming events for SCG event dates.
Wet weather contingency: The Showground Field car park may temporarily close during periods of heavy rain as the grasslands can become very muddy and unsafe for vehicles. Motorists will be redirected to park along the asphalted driveway of the car park and along Driver Ave during such time. Please be advised that capacity will be limited under these temporary parking conditions so commuters should arrive early to secure a free parking space.