Independent study reveals NI public attitude towards public transport during Covid-19

With passenger levels steadily growing again on public transport, new research commissioned by Translink surveying people across NI including public transport users and non-users reveals that 79% anticipate they will return to their normal place of work by the end of 2021 with 50% of those surveyed also saying they would be happy to use public transport immediately once restrictions lift. 

Translink continued to operate services throughout the pandemic and quickly introduced a wide range of safety measures to keep customers and staff safe. As restrictions now ease the public has identified several measures that will be key to encouraging them on-board services, such as wearing face masks (94%), enhanced cleaning (95%) and sanitisers at stations (95%).

With 4 in 5 people agreeing Translink kept passengers safe throughout the pandemic, Translink Group Chief Executive, Chris Conway, is reassuring customers that safety remains the organisation’s top priority:

“These findings are encouraging with people recognising that we have taken our responsibility to passenger safety very seriously. However, we understand that with the lifting of restrictions comes some apprehension and I want to reassure everyone that we have robust measures in place to ensure public transport is safe, clean and reliable.

“Our message is simple, we’re ready when you are. As we start to see NI reopen for business and employers plan for the workplace return, we’re looking forward to welcoming our customers back on board. All trains, buses, and facilities continue to be treated with electrostatic cleaning spray that kill viruses and bacteria on contact, face coverings are mandatory and hand sanitiser dispensers are available in main stations.”

The research also revealed that Translink was recognised for keeping the NI economy moving and keeping communities connected. And over two thirds (69%) agreed that public transport is a sustainable transport mode better for the environment and air quality. Welcoming these findings Chris Conway concluded:

“Public transport touches all aspects of life, supporting the economy, education, health and the environment. During lockdown, we saw air pollution levels and emissions drop significantly while public transport services still operated. And encouragingly over half of those surveyed claimed they would consider using public transport as a sustainable, more environmentally friendly mode of transport in the future.

“We have a real opportunity for a green recovery but the need for climate action is now. We’ve already introduced the first hydrogen powered double decker buses on the island of Ireland – just one exciting milestone in our ambitious Climate Positive Strategy. And by the end of the year, we will have the 4th largest Zero Emission bus fleet across all UK regions. We’re now looking forward to achieving further important milestones on our journey to Net Zero and securing a brighter future for generations to come.”