Road & Rail

Road & Rail Wrap: The Overland is back, road trips slowly return, Jayride market update + MORE

Time to make like Russell Coight and hit the road (and rail) because we’ve got your latest hit of industry updates from luggage cabins and back seats across the world.

The Overland is back

The iconic Overland train will once again be making its way between Adelaide and Melbourne with a new three-year agreement extending the service.

Journey Beyond Rail Expeditions (JBRE) along with support from the Victorian Government have contributed funds to continue to operate the journey that has been transporting people from the two cities as well as regional towns for more than 130 years.

The train will operate two services a week in each direction from 14 September 2020 with online bookings available from 8 July.

Jayride’s latest market update 

Jayride has revealed COVID-19’s impact on bookings, with a 95 per cent downturn in April versus PCP.

However, May has shown signs of initial recovery, recording 2,00 trips booked compared with April which recorded 1,600. For context, January saw 48,600 bookings.

The airport transfers business predicts that increased health and safety needs of travellers will help increase bookings with the promise of door-to-door travel.

Research: road travel slowly returns  

Image credit: iStock.com/franckreporter

New data has shown that while Aussie road trips have dropped by 60 per cent compared to last year, the number of us hitting the road it slowly growing, with 15 per cent month on month growth.

The data comes from the inaugural Independent Road Travel Index, which was created by TripTech using realtime data from its travel apps to record the activities of Australian and New Zealander road travellers.

The data also showed which states are leading the way. with South Australia identified as the strongest state for getting back on the road, followed by Victoria and New South Wales. The Northern Territory was the lowest in comparative terms compared to 2019.

The top five Australian regional travel hot spots during June were (in order) Murray East and the Eyre Peninsula (both South Australia), Victoria’s High Country and Yarra Valley, followed by regions through Southern New South Wales.

Topdeck and Back-Roads introduce new measures for post-COVID-19 travel

Global Touring, the umbrella group of travel brands that includes Topdeck Travel and Back-Roads Touring, has rolled out new measures for its trips once international and domestic travel resumes post-COVID-19.

Topdeck and Back-Roads have been reviewing their operations and working on new protocols and safety measures including:

  • Increased hygiene standards

All coaches will be thoroughly cleaned before each trip starts and regularly throughout. Drivers and crew will be paying extra attention to cleanliness and ensuring all surfaces cleaned and sanitised throughout the trips. Hand sanitiser will also be available for customers to use. All trips start with a full briefing and these will now include information on how customers can help to keep themselves safe and healthy during the trip.

  • Enhanced crew training

Before travel resumes, all crew members will undergo further training in response to coronavirus risks. Global Touring will be ensuring all Crew are equipped with the skills required to help keep customers as safe as possible whilst ensuring they have the best possible travel experience.

  • Working with trusted partners and suppliers

Global Touring is working with all its accommodation and experience suppliers to ensure cleaning protocols, hygiene records, customer ratings and risk assessments are centred around customer safety and wellbeing.

  • Booking flexibility

Increased flexibility for all new bookings is being introduced until further notice, allowing customers to change their departure date or trip up to 40 days before travel – with no changes fees or penalties.

Ola launches business travel solutions

 

Rideshare company, Ola, has launched a new business travel platform called Ola Corporate.

The new platform allows employees to book their own rides, providing detailed analytics from a single dashboard, making it easy to keep track of everything from ride history and invoicing to payments and expenditure.

Ola Corporate also promises to device ground level costs by up to 30 per cent through a streamlined process and end-to-end solutions.

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