Our number one priority has always been to keep our people and our customers safe. But when faced with the challenges of the past year, we have all truly stepped up, going above and beyond.
This year has seen us support our Emergency Operations Centres, restore our Transport services and assist with reopening NSW’s major regional highways after bushfires for our customers. We also kept passenger services operating where safe to do so, showing utmost professionalism and care.
When coronavirus changed our world overnight we were forced to adapt how and where we work, and we have been tested in some pretty extraordinary ways. We quickly established the Transport COVID-19 Taskforce. This group was made up of people from across our organisation, dedicated to keeping our customers informed in a coordinated way, implementing our immediate response to the pandemic, as well as our long-term planning and recovery.
Putting our customers at the centre of our response, we maintained a full level of service on our public transport network including providing one million extra cleaning hours and temporary weekly services to help our customers make smart travel choices and practice physical distancing.
We enabled reliable freight and port movements that provide our communities with essentials and we’ve been able to fast-track more than 90 key road and maintenance projects in regional NSW. This is on top of our planned work to help get more jobs on the ground, improve safety and boost business in our regional towns when they need it most.
I am beyond impressed with the way we responded swiftly to the challenges before us, but something I’m hugely proud of is, how we have also used this time to accelerate plans for the future, and in many areas, we are leading the way with our thinking.
Before the crisis events of the past year, we were already working differently and had moved away from operating as separate agencies and modes to become a single organisation through our Evolving Transport Program. But with the coronavirus pandemic changing the way many of us work and move around our state, we are seizing the opportunity now to tackle some of Transport’s toughest challenges including reducing crowding, spreading trips on our network across the day, and encouraging more people to walk and ride.
We’ve rolled out a network of six new pop-up cycleways in a matter of weeks. And people across our organisation have pulled together to strengthen our real-time data so our customers know instantly how much space is available on the next bus or train to help reduce crowding.
IT changes were fast-tracked, with over 10,000 of us now working remotely and we’re now exploring the possibilities of how and where we will work in the future from the frontline to virtual teams.
It doesn’t matter what job you do at Transport or what part of the state you’re in. From those of us working on the frontline in service delivery, to those on site, building our projects to those of us working behind the scenes (and probably from home). The various parts of our network and our individual roles are unique in their own way, but what we all have in common is our passion for serving our customers and putting them at the centre of everything we do.
We also have a broader community purpose to work together for the greater good. By building and delivering Transport, we are boosting employment in local communities through construction, connecting remote communities to education and essential services or supporting the economy of a local town. We are doing all of this with care by putting people at the heart – each other, our customers and our communities.
We work better together. As one team we are delivering amazing things and I can’t wait to see what we come up with next.
Throughout history Transport has been there, helping the people of NSW in times of need.