Frequently Asked Questions

We want all customers to have an excellent experience travelling with us. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about our network and services – please read through the information below to see if it answers your questions before getting in touch with our Customer Services team.

Service Reliability and Bus Tracking

Like many operators across the bus industry, and indeed many other business sectors, recruitment has become a big challenge for us. Our teams continue to work tirelessly in a difficult climate to recruit and train new drivers in order to allow us to deliver reliable services for our customers.

We are very sorry if you are one of the customers we’ve let down in recent weeks. We know that we’re falling short on delivering the service you’ve come to know and expect.

We are doing everything we can to rebuild the service to make it as reliable as we possibly can.

Some customers have referred to buses that fail to show, despite appearing on our app journey planner, as ‘ghost buses’.

When using our journey planner or app, the information for the chosen journey is taken from the published timetable and collated with real-time information, where this is available. If, however, a bus fails to operate, there is no way for this to be pulled into the journey planner or app, and accounted for at short notice due to a delay in information. Therefore the planner will show a scheduled journey that will unfortunately not operate.

We appreciate how frustrating this is and apologise for any inconvenience caused. Please bear with us.

We recognise that it is incredibly frustrating to wait for a bus that doesn’t show as advertised. Unfortunately, resources are very stretched across the business, and it is not possible at this time to provide advance notice each day.

We are hopeful that improvements to reliability will be noticed later this year and thank all customers for their patience and understanding during this very challenging time.

Our teams have been working relentlessly in an incredibly difficult recruitment market to attract and train new drivers to help with service provision and to stablise the network.

Driver recruitment problems are not solely an issue for Lothian – bus operators the length and breadth of the UK are finding recruitment to be a major concern post-pandemic.

We have a number of Recruitment Days planned where members of the public, who are interested in learning more about a role as a driver with Lothian, can meet members of our Training School team, talk through the process of applying and training, and even have a go at driving a bus for themselves on the day! Anyone interested in attending our next Recruitment Day is warmly welcomed to sign up online

You can also learn more about current trainee and qualified driver positions on our careers page.

When a bus is being tracked, the arrival time is calculated by the amount of time taken to travel to the next bus stop. If the bus is held up by traffic congestion or an incident (i.e., a road traffic accident or sudden road closure), the tracker will continue to count down until arrival time and if the bus doesn’t arrive at this time, if will display DLY (delay).

Unfortunately, like many operators across the bus industry, and indeed many other business sectors, recruitment has become a big challenge for us and we are doing everything we can to deliver for our customers set against significant operational difficulties.

We can certainly appreciate how frustrating it can be when services do not operate as per the timetable.

When services are delayed or are directly impacted by circumstances outwith our control we work hard to rectify the issue however, we would be unable to offer reimbursement of expenses/Ridacard/taxi.

Lost Property

We’ll do all we can to help and recommend you fill out the Lost Property Contact Form to file a lost property enquiry with us. We’ll need an accurate description of the missing item, what bus you were on and when you were travelling. After completing the form, a member of our Lost Property team will be in touch directly to assist.

Ticketing and Fares

If your card was declined but you’ve seen a payment come out of your account shortly afterwards, this will have been payment for a previous journey that remained outstanding. By attempting to use your card on board, this triggers an attempt to collect the unpaid fare and – if successful – the fare will come out of your account and your card will be unblocked.

This is payment for a previous day’s travel. When you tap your card, we don’t charge you immediately because we don’t know how much your daily fare will be at that point – your daily fare depends on any other journeys you might take that day/night. You’ll therefore be charged the cheapest fare for the journeys you’ve made in the early hours of the following day.

If you use a Mastercard, your bank statement may show a ‘pending’ 10p or £1 charge for your first tap. This is just a temporary charge to check the card is valid – payment isn’t collected. The time it takes to be returned to your available balance depends on your bank – most banks take a couple of working days, but some banks take up to 30 days.

If you can’t find the answer to your query here, you may want to visit our dedicated Contactless FAQs page which may be of help.

If you still need assistance, please get in touch with our contactless team by emailing [email protected].

Reporting Incidents

All customers travel with us on the understanding that they will not cause offence or discomfort to others onboard the bus. Anyone who fails to follow our Conditions of Carriage may be requested to leave the vehicle by the driver, company official or a police officer. We fully cooperate with police investigations and make CCTV footage available when requested to do so by Police Scotland. Should you be involved in an incident of this nature we would advise that you bring it to the driver’s attention immediately.