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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Social distancing drives service up

A Tranzit school bus dropping children off after school at the Queen St stop. PHOTO/FILE

GIANINA SCHWANECKE
[email protected]

From yesterday, Metlink rolled out additional school and route 200 public bus services throughout Wairarapa to help ensure there are enough seats for everybody while the country remains at Alert Level 2.

Metlink general manager Scott Gallacher said the move was part of the transport operator’s commitment to provide full services while trying to protect staff and customers from the risk of covid-19 transmission.

“The care and safety of our passengers and Metlink team is of critical importance to us and we continue to follow the advice of the government and Ministry of Health,” he said.

While government advice continued to place importance on physical distancing and personal hygiene measures, Gallacher said staff were not expected to police physical distancing on board.

“Passengers are generally getting on with it like last time, being responsible and making the right choices around physical distancing and following the government’s advice.”

School bus services are still operating though students have been asked to employ physical distancing while waiting for their Metlink school bus service.

He said students tagged on and off at the front door and hand-sanitised before they took their seat.

No standing was allowed, which had reduced capacity.

“Metlink has a dedicated schools adviser and we continue to work closely with schools across the region.

“Schools play a vital role by keeping a register of students on each bus to help with contact tracing and provide reminders of physical distancing and hygiene practices.”

He said the government had also recommended the use of facemasks where physical distancing was difficult though not mandated at level 2.

“[This] is still personal choice at the moment but our operators have sufficient supplies of PPE available for Metlink frontline staff.

“This includes masks, gloves, and hand sanitiser.

“We also have a very large supply on order to ensure we do not run out.”

Last week, an additional bus was added to route 200, the Martinborough to Masterton service.

Metlink is also running an information campaign about physical distancing.

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