Covid: Full public transport capacity putting those onboard at risk – Siptu

The trade union said current capacity is putting both workers and passengers at risk as cases surge
Covid: Full public transport capacity putting those onboard at risk – Siptu

Siptu is calling for capacity on public transport to be reduced, saying current full capacity puts both workers and passengers at risk as Covid-19 cases surge.

The trade union on Wednesday wrote to the Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan urging the Government to reduce passenger capacity from 100 per cent.

It represents 4,500 staff who work on all forms of public transport.

“Ireland is experiencing a surge in Covid-19 infections and restrictions are being applied across various sectors of our economy,” said Siptu sector organiser John Murphy.

“However, despite this, capacity on all modes of public transport remains at 100 per cent, which sharpens the risk for both workers and passengers.

“Siptu representatives fully accept that public transport must continue but passenger capacity must be reduced so our members can work, and passengers can travel, in the safest possible way.

"While we are aware that the Government is actively considering reducing public transport service levels at weekends we believe this would be a flawed policy as it will only cut the number of vehicles and potentially lead to further overcrowding.”

Consultation

Mr Murphy said previous decisions on public transport capacity "have been taken by the Department of Transport without any consultation with workers or their representatives."

"This is despite several attempts by Siptu representatives to engage with the Minister for Transport concerning these issues over the last 20 months," he said.

“We are now calling on the Minister to engage with us immediately on the introduction of a coherent and safe policy in relation to public transport services.”

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