From Monday, 1 June 2020, GO GEORGE will be reintroducing three of the routes that have been temporarily suspended during lockdown levels 5 and 4: Route 51 Parkdene Community, Route 3 Blanco Community and Route 56 Denneoord – CBD.
The remaining inactive routes will be phased in based on assessments in terms of capacity, demand and adherence to safety measures. The current timetable and reduced capacity according to regulations on buses will be continued. For this reason, passengers are requested to spread their travel throughout the day, avoiding peak times if at all possible.
Take even more care than before
The increased number of operational routes comes with a serious warning to passengers to take responsibility for their own health and safety, and that of all co-passengers and bus staff.
GO GEORGE Manager, James Robb, called upon passengers to cooperate in curbing the spread of the virus. “We want to emphasise the importance of responsible conduct and adherence to safety measures, now more than ever. More buses will be put back in service at the same time that the spreading of the Covid-19 virus is rapidly escalating.
“Let’s not think level 3 means that we can drop our guard. It actually means that we need to take much more care than before since passengers and bus staff will be exposed to many more people and opportunities to get infected by the virus. Wear your mask, wash and sanitise your hands, keep social distance, and best of all, stay home if you can. The bus is still a high-risk environment and should be used only for essential trips,” he said.
Drivers’ health to be protected
Risk to the bus drivers is a serious concern which is being addressed by implementing three daily shifts to protect their health. Continued service depends on the health and availability of the drivers, which is dependent on several factors, including passengers’ adherence to the safety measures.
Stagger shifts to distribute demand
Robb is calling upon employers to assist in minimising the risk to their staff. “It would be best if employers could arrange private transport for staff in order to avoid public transport. If that is not possible, it would make a huge difference if shifts could be staggered to start at different times during the day. This will relieve congestion on the buses during peak times. Although we are allowed to fill all seats, it would be best if there is room for social distancing on the buses.”
Once directives from the Minister of Transport have been issued, the end time of service in the evening will be announced.