Daily public transport journeys in the West Midlands have fallen by 86% since the coronavirus outbreak started.
This drop in journeys by bus, tram and train shows that the vast majority of people are following the advice to stay home and not use public transport unless absolutely essential.
Transport bosses have thanked the vast majority of regular commuters who are staying at home and the hard working staff who have kept the network running for key workers and those collecting essential shopping and medical supplies.
Data for the Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) Swift card, which is used for about a quarter of public transport trips in the region, shows a decline of 86% between the start of March and this week .
The largest fall followed the Prime Minister’s lockdown announcement.
But TfWM, which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), is concerned that a small minority of travellers are still making non-essential journeys as usage in Birmingham and the West Midlands remains slightly higher than similar UK cities under coronavirus lockdown. TfWM urges everyone to follow the Government advice and only travel if essential.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said:
“Thank you to everyone who is following the Government’s clear advice and staying at home. This significant reduction in public transport use shows that the vast majority of people across the West Midlands are acting very responsibly in these incredibly challenging and unprecedented times.
“However some people are still travelling unnecessary, and I would urge these people to please listen to the Government advice and protect yourself and others. If we are going to beat Coronavirus then everyone in the West Midlands needs to play their part.
“For those who have to travel on public transport, such as key workers, please remember to socially distance and take appropriate precautions where possible, such as eliminating the use of cash and paying via contactless methods.”
Cllr Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council added:
“We would also like to thank the dedicated staff right across our transport network who are turning up at this difficult time to keep rail, Metro and bus services running throughout the day for our critical workers.
“Regular services are still running to key destinations like hospitals and supermarkets but we would ask people to only use them if absolutely necessary and follow social distance guidelines to protect critical workers and transport staff and stop the further spread of the coronavirus.”
While public transport services have been reduced operators are continuing to run first and last services for key workers.
The following guidance has been issued for people who need to use public transport:
Keeping your distance
Maintaining social distancing and good hygiene practises when using the transport network will help everyone stay safe through this unprecedented time and allow more services, for those that need them most, to continue operating.
For regular updates and links to services visit: https://www.networkwestmidlands.com/plan-your-journey/network-overview/