Possible to keep public transport 'very safe' with Covid-19 precautions: Ong Ye Kung

Passengers can reduce the risk of Covid-19 spread by keeping their masks on and refraining from talking.
Passengers can reduce the risk of Covid-19 spread by keeping their masks on and refraining from talking.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Public transport can be kept "very safe" with a range of precautions taken by both operators and commuters.

For instance, the air on the MRT train is being replenished every six minutes, not counting the opening and closing of train doors, said Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung on Friday (May 14).

Passengers can reduce the risk of Covid-19 spread by keeping their masks on and refraining from talking.

Mr Ong was responding to a question during a Covid-19 press conference by the multi-ministry task force about the precautions on public transport amid the rise in the number of community cases.

He noted that the current ridership on trains and buses is at about 70 per cent of that before the Covid-19 pandemic. This is expected to fall further with the series of additional restrictions that will kick in from Sunday, with work from home becoming the default.

But despite the fall in ridership, trains and buses have been running at the same frequencies as before Covid-19, he said.

"Where there is some crowding (on trains), it is often at a particular station and particular time, and one station later, it disperses," he said.

"So these are the settings that we are talking about - transient, a bit of crowding at 70 per cent of pre-Covid-19 volumes."

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