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COVID-19 Advice for Transport Providers

In this current crisis, community transport providers have a valuable role in meeting the travel needs of clients. The following information was developed by Transport for NSW and includes advice to transport providers to ensure the health and safety of your employees, volunteers and clients.

Long distance travel

Long distance services pose a higher risk than short distance services for employees, volunteers and customers and should be avoided if they are not essential.

Large numbers of people

Transporting large numbers of people, including vulnerable people such as the elderly, should be avoided. If it is unavoidable, implement risk mitigation strategies such as:

  • Good hygiene – wash hands frequently, cover a cough or sneeze.
  • If a customer is spreading droplets from sneezing, coughing or vomiting you may ask them to use tissues to cover their mouth.
  • If a customer sneezes, coughs or vomits clean surfaces with disinfectant wipes.
  • Supply hand sanitiser for drivers and customers.
  • Seat customers at the greatest possible distance from one another, and from the driver.

Small numbers of people

  • Customers should sit in the back seat, if possible.
  • Supply hand sanitiser for drivers and customers.
  • The air conditioner/heat setting should be set to external airflow, not recycled airflow.

Transporting customers to be tested for Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Before the trip:

  • The customer should always be asked if they can drive themselves, or if a family member who has already been exposed could drive them instead.
  • If possible try and ascertain why the testing is taking place. There is a significant difference in risk between someone who has no known connection with Coronavirus and is just feeling unwell and someone who has been in contact with a confirmed case or returned from overseas.

During the trip:

  • There should be no contact between the customer and driver. Try to maximise distance at all times.
  • The customer should wear a mask at all times.
  • If no mask is available the customer should hold a few clean tissues over their mouth and nose the entire time.
  • Clean tissues should be available in the vehicle.
  • The customer must wash their hands before the trip.
  • The driver should open and shut the vehicle door – it should not be touched by the customer.
  • The customer should sit in the rear left seat.
  • The customer should sit back at all times – not leaning towards the driver.
  • The customer should not talk during the trip, particularly if using tissues instead of a mask.
  • The driver’s window should be open if possible so clean air is blowing onto the driver. The other windows should remain closed.
  • Contactless payment should be made if possible.

After the trip:

  • The vehicle must be cleaned thoroughly with disinfectant.
  • If drivers think they have been in close contact with a customer with a confirmed case of Coronavirus, they should monitor their health and seek medical attention.

How to clean vehicles

The Point to Point Transport Commissioner has recently prepared a video on how to clean vehicles, which may be useful for community transport providers. View video here:

Handling of cash

NSW Health has recently updated the guidelines for handling cash. The advice states that where handling of cash is required:

  • For intermittent handling of cash: the staff member should be advised to perform hand hygiene immediately after handling cash – either with soap and water or hand sanitiser, whichever is available. This means hand sanitiser may need to be available to support this across a range of settings.
  • For longer periods of cash handling: the staff member should wear gloves while handling cash, and then carefully remove the gloves and perform hand hygiene at the end of the period of cash handling.

We know that some community transport service providers only accept cash. Therefore we request you manage the risks associated with the continued collection of cash fares based on NSW Health’s guidelines in the dot points above.

As an example of good practice, Transport for NSW is aware of some operators putting in place measures where the driver does not have to touch the cash, including requiring exact change or providing a small container available for customers to drop their fare into and retrieve their own change.

Working together

This is a dynamic situation and Transport for NSW is working closely with all areas of government to coordinate services, and will continue to be in contact with you.

Please share this with your employees and volunteers, and if are experiencing service difficulties or questions please contact your Senior Contract Development Officer.