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Ghost trains running on empty as Qlders continue working from home

Seal Media Group, Australia

New estimates have revealed at least 50 per cent of seats remained empty on ten of the rail network’s southeast lines during peak hour services in the three weeks to July 20.This included the Airport line, where on average 92 per cent of seats were empty during peak times, while the estimated spare seat capacity on the Gold Coast line hit 65 per cent.About 86 per cent of seats were free on the peak hour Doomben service as well as 66 per cent on the Shorncliffe/Northgate line and 70 per cent on the Beenleigh line.On the Ipswich/Rosewood service, about 57 per cent of seats were free over the same period, while 66 per cent of seats were available on the Sunshine Coast/Caboolture line.The average estimated spare seat capacity during off-peak times was even bigger, with at least 75 per cent of seats empty on 11 southeast services in July.Transport Minister Mark Bailey said while more people had returned to public transport since March and April, numbers across the network were at an average of about 45 per cent compared to the same time last year.“We put that down to a range of reasons, including people choosing to continue working from home, universities still doing a lot of courses online and some commuters choosing to drive,” he said.“We’re expecting people to continue slowly returning to public transport and some popular peak bus routes are busy again.”Mr Bailey said the government was urging commuters to think about how they travelled to work, through a “Reboot your Commute” campaign.“The message there is for people to consider starting work earlier or later, so we can space out the passenger numbers at peak times,” he said.“We’re also encouraging people, who can, to consider riding or walking to work too.”Since August 10, an extra 1,065 weekly public transport services have been added to the network in a bid to support social distancing.This included an additional 105 train services every week.Queensland Rail spare seat capacity

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