Public Transport Regional Public Transport COVID-19 Rapid testing

Rapid testing needed for public transport workers

20 October 2021

The Andrews Labor Government is under renewed pressure to implement rapid antigen testing for Victorian public transport workers, with staffing shortages threatening to bring the network to its second standstill in less than a month.

150 Yarra Trams staff are now in isolation after a worker at the Malvern depot tested positive to COVID-19.

Five of the city’s busiest tram routes including routes 5, 6, 16, 58, 72 are expected to face mass disruption over the coming days.

This is the second major disruption to the state’s public transport network in less than a month, with 300 more V/Line staff forced into isolation due to a COVID-19 outbreak in early September.  

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Public Transport, Steph Ryan:

“These cancellations highlight yet again why we need rapid testing of drivers across the public transport network.

“As case numbers rise, it’s inevitable that there will be more cases on public transport.

“For weeks, the Liberals and Nationals have called on the government to rollout rapid testing of drivers.

“Had they done that, there’s a very good chance that the tram network would be operating today with minimal disruption.

“We saw the entire regional train network shutdown for weeks because of a positive case among a driver, and now the tram network is short staffed.

“Regular rapid testing detects positive cases faster, which in turn avoids the need for hundreds of staff to isolate and the mass cancellation of services across the network.”

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