Help us to help you

Advice and guidance for travelling safely on our network

As we continue to monitor service levels across Edinburgh and the Lothians, we wanted to share some advice on how you can travel safely across our network.

On Tuesday 26 May 2020, Scottish Government published Covid-19 Transport Guidance which we are following. You can read the guidance in full here.

The Scottish Government has announced that all parts of the country will move to Level 3 from Monday 26 April. The remaining travel restrictions within Scotland will be lifted and travel within the UK will be permitted for any purpose.

If you are planning on making a journey on our services, we ask that you continue to help us keep our drivers and customers safe by following the guidance set out below, bearing in mind that capacity on public transport remains limited at this time.

We understand you might have other questions relating to travel – more information can be found in our FAQ section.

Respect our colleagues

We are doing everything we can to protect our colleagues by providing them with face coverings, gloves, hand sanitiser and anti-bacterial disinfectant wipes. Please note that drivers are not required to wear face coverings in their driver cabs, as these have been fitted with screens in accordance with current Scottish Government legislation. We are also continuing to remind colleagues of frequent hand washing and to keep their distance where they can.

Before you travel

Should I travel?

You should not travel if you or anyone in your household is experiencing coronavirus symptoms (new continuous dry cough, fever or the loss of or a change in your sense of smell or taste) or if you are self-isolating. 

Download the Protect Scotland app

The Protect Scotland app from NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect is now available to download. Completely free, the mobile phone app is designed to help us protect one another, reduce the spread of coronavirus and avoid further lockdowns.

The app will alert you if you have been in close contact with another app user who tests positive for coronavirus. And if you test positive, it can help in determining contacts that you may have otherwise missed while keeping your information private and anonymous.

Using the Protect Scotland app, along with sticking to current public health measures, will help us to stay safe when we meet up, socialise, work or travel. Download today from the App Store or Google Play.

Plan your journey

Make time to plan your journey using our journey planner or through our mobile app.

Please be patient when travelling at busy times.

Your journey may take longer than normal due to reduced capacity and social distancing measures and you should allow sufficient time for your journey.

You may have to wait for the next service if you cannot safely keep your distance from other people.


Please consider how you plan to pay for your journey. All our buses accept contactless payments or you can buy tickets in advance using our m-ticket app. Please avoid paying by cash but where this isn’t possible, cash can be paid directly into the hopper. Please note  all of our services are exact fare only – our drivers can’t give change.

Wash your hands

Please wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser before and after every journey.

Boarding the bus

At the bus stop

When waiting at the bus stop, try to maintain the recommended physical distance from other waiting customers, where possible.

Please have your fare, pass, ticket or m-ticket ready when the bus arrives to minimise the time it takes to board. Avoid paying cash where possible.


When your bus arrives, please wait for people to get off the bus before you board and only board the bus one at a time.

On our buses

Where to sit

Please use every other seat where possible.

If you are travelling with other members of your household, please sit together to leave seats free for other customers.

Increase airflow

Please leave windows open to increase airflow. Some buses will also have air conditioning turned on to help air flow freely through the vehicle.

Face Coverings

As of 21 June 2020, face coverings are mandatory when travelling on public transport. Customers must follow Scottish Government’s advice and guidelines on wearing a face covering when using our services. 

This advice also states that the wearing of a face covering for very young children or those with particular health conditions is not appropriate. 

To help customers who are exempt, we have introduced our own exemption card. More information can be found here.

We ask for people to be aware of exemptions and to treat each other with kindness and consideration.

Further guidance on face coverings can be found here.

Show kindness and consideration

Remember, not all conditions or disabilities are visible. Some customers – such as those with sight loss or learning disabilities – may need extra assistance or have difficulty following physical distancing measures as well as others. Please be patient and kind to all other customers.


Please do not eat or drink on board our buses and please take all your belongings and rubbish off the bus with you.

Getting off the bus

Behind the line

All of our buses have been fitted with a line on the floor near the driver’s cab. Please remain behind the line until the bus has stopped and the doors are opened. If there are customers in the wheelchair space or seats near the front of the bus, please maintain a physical distance at all times.

When getting off the bus, customers who travel in a wheelchair should press the bell and wait in the bay until the driver has deployed the ramp and then moved away from the bus, to give you physical distance.

Remember to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser before and after every journey.

Committed to accessibility

Lothian are committed to accessibility on our buses. We appreciate it’s a difficult and worrying time for everyone and we want to make sure all of our customers have access to our services.

Wheelchairs and Pushchairs

Our buses remain available for everyone who requires to make a journey.

Our drivers will continue to deploy the ramp when required, but customers should wait at least 2m away from the door, to allow the driver to deploy the ramp and maintain social distance.

When getting off the bus, please press the bell and wait in the bay until the driver has deployed the ramp and then moved away from the bus, to give you social distance.

Mobile app

Our mobile app provides a number of features designed for blind and partially-sighted customers. These include:

  • Full use of VoiceOver that allows customers to move their finger over the phone’s screen and have information spoken to them as they move their finger
  • Stop Radar: by pointing their phone in the direction of a bus stop, the app will announce which bus stop it is and which services stop there
  • Next Stop Announcements: when on a bus, the customer can select which bus route they are on and the app will announce the name of the next stop as the bus approaches (with buses fitted with Bluetooth beacons, the customer doesn’t even need to select which bus route they are on – the app knows automatically).

If you require further information and assistance with your journey, please feel free to contact us via email to

We understand you might have other questions relating to travel – more information can be found in our FAQ section.