Buses across Canberra will run to interim bus timetables from today (31 January) for the foreseeable future so the system can better cope with staff shortages due to COVID-19.
A government spokesperson said staff absences can be managed in number of ways.
“This includes using staff on standby, increasing the use of casual drivers, and adding routes to other drivers’ shifts where we can do so while adhering to national driving hour requirements,” they continued.
According to Bus Operations executive branch manager Ian McGlinn, it also ensures services are more reliable across the network for those who rely on the city’s bus network.
All local services and the Rapid 10 are still running at least every 30 minutes – and all other Rapid services are running at least every 15 minutes during the day and every hour after 8 pm during the week.
Mr McGlinn said dedicated school services also began today.
“[A total of] 233 dedicated school services, including ‘S’ trips which divert into school, will resume as students return to the classroom for the commencement of the school year,” he said.
“We have made some minor timing changes to some services to provide better connections, so I encourage parents and students to jump online and check their travel times via the Transport Canberra website.”
A new bus service for Molonglo Valley residents also commenced on Monday to connect the new suburb of Whitlam with Belconnen and Denman Prospect, including S-trip diversions to the Evelyn Scott School.
Light rail services will continue to run as normal.
“Transport Canberra will continue to monitor the impacts the Omicron variant is having on our workforce, and any disruption to services will be communicated to customers,” Mr McGlinn said.
People travelling on public transport services are required to abide by COVID-safe protocols such as wearing a mask on board if aged 12 and over, checking in on buses and light rail and using a MyWay card.
Travellers are also asked to enter using the rear doors on the bus unless they require low-floor access and to travel off-peak if possible.
Anyone who is unwell must not use public transport.
Mr McGlinn also reminded parents and carers there is a range of alternative methods they can use to get their children to school, such as walking, riding or scooting if they live close by.
If not, using a part-way point can help ease congestion around schools and help your children get more exercise.
“Simply drop your child at a point or park and walk the rest of the way with them,” Mr McGlinn explained.
Motorists are also reminded that school zones are now back in place from 8 am to 4 pm on weekdays.
See more information, including updated timetables and school packs online.