Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice and FAQs for our customers

Page last updated: 1/04/20

The safety of our colleagues and customers remains our main priority.

Following the UK Government’s announcement on 23 March, we are currently reviewing our network provision to ensure we are providing the required level of service to meet the needs of key workers and those that require to make essential journeys for food/medicine. We would encourage everyone to follow the government’s advice and only travel when essential to do so.

Lothian will continue to provide a service to assist those that require to travel and we would encourage all customers to plan their journeys in advance using our mobile app or the journey planner on our website.

We are continuing to work with the government, industry bodies, local authorities, public health authorities and union representatives to seek advice and guidance.

Our TravelHubs, Park and Ride sites and Airlink Kiosk are now closed. Our Customer Services team are currently operating a reduced service and it is likely there will be a delay in responding to some customer enquiries. To help us best help you, we would ask that you take a minute to read the information below prior to contacting us. If the matter cannot be answered using the information below, our Customer Services team can be contacted via email to

Our lost property department is also now closed. All non-perishable lost items will be kept safe until the department reopens. When the department reopens to the public, we will announce this on our website and social media platform.

Thank you to all of our Frontline teams and the hundreds of colleagues working behind the scenes to deliver a fantastic service, ensuring that Lothian can continue to meet the travel needs of our customers.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers for their cooperation and understanding during this uncertain time.

Below we have provided answers to some of the most common questions we are receiving from our customers.

For more information on Coronavirus, visit

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Bus services

Can I continue to travel on Lothian’s critical services?

Advice from UK Government is people should only make essential journeys for work or for food/medicine.

Our services are currently operating a reduced service and customers are advised to plan their journeys in advance using our mobile app or through our journey planner on our website at

I’m a keyworker and Lothian’s critical service network means I’m finding it difficult to travel to work?

I’m sorry that our Critical Service Network is currently not meeting your needs. You will appreciate in the very challenging operational climate which we are operating, we’ve had to make some very difficult decisions in planning this revised service. We have taken into account key workers from a wide range of sectors located across Edinburgh and the Lothians.

I’m a keyworker and the critical services network means I do not have a direct service anymore.

We would ask you to consider whether you could possibly make use of two or more services to help you connect to your destination. Our Journey Planner on the website can help you plan your route if you think it could be a solution:

I’ve looked at the journey planner and I still cannot plan travel to my destination as a keyworker?

If you and a number of your colleagues are in a similar situation, we are encouraging employers to collate individual concerns from employees and feed back to us via email at You may wish to make your manager aware of this process.

This will allow us to keep the level of service required under constant review and put changes in place where we can to try to best meet our customers’ needs.

Please note all customer feedback will be collated and services reviewed where possible. Unfortunately we cannot respond to feedback on an individual basis.

My employer says they are too busy to collate this information, what should I do?

These are testing times for all of us and we can appreciate that. The reason we’re asking for managers to do this is so that we have an idea of how many people at one time are affected – it’s easier for us to make changes if we know, for example, 20 people are being affected as opposed to 1.

Are there any extra measures I should take whilst travelling?

As advised by the NHS, everyone should follow simple steps to help stop viruses spreading:

  • Wash your hands (for 20 seconds) with hot water and soap or hand sanitiser when you arrive home/at work.
  • Use a tissue for coughs/sneezes and bin tissues after use. Catch it, bin it, kill it.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

Are you carrying out additional cleaning on your services?

All of our vehicles are cleaned externally and internally on a daily basis, and we have introduced heightened cleaning measures in response to this situation including more enhanced cleaning of the main customer touch-points such as hand poles and grab rails and our driver cab areas.

Cleaning across all of our sites has also increased. We have issued detailed reminders to colleagues and provided additional cleaning materials where possible.


Hygiene practices and social distancing

Will you be providing hand sanitisers on your services?

We have introduced additional cleaning across our fleet including main customer touch points and are sharing hygiene reminders from Scottish Government and health authorities across all of our social platforms. We are not currently looking to roll out hand sanitisers on our services.

The government is advising that we need to keep a distance of two-metres or more from one another. How can we do that on your services?

We would urge all customers to follow the advice given by the Scottish Government and NHS. Our reduced service is in place to enable key workers to get to frontline services, and we are calling on customers to play their part in ensuring the safety of those who are reliant on reduced services during this crisis. If travel isn’t essential, we would ask customers to do the responsible thing. If travel is essential, please try to keep a reasonable distance from fellow passengers where this is possible.

How are you protecting your staff, such as drivers?

The safety of our colleagues and customers remains our number one priority. We have implemented robust protocols to help stop the spread of the virus. We continue to remind all of our colleagues of the importance of good hygiene practices and social distancing and, working with key suppliers, we have introduced antibacterial cleaning materials across all of our sites. In addition, as with the main customer touchpoint areas, we are also increasing the frequency of cleaning within driver cabs and other areas our staff come into greater contact with.



I have a Direct Debit Ridacard – can I pause this if I need to stay at home (self-isolate) or work remotely?

We are facing testing times as a business and are doing everything we can to keep connectivity of critical services running through the vast majority of our network for key workers and essential travel.

We do not have the capability to pause or suspend our Direct Debit Ridacard product but you may cancel your card and subscription.

If you wish to cancel your direct debit Ridacard, please email with a note of your Unique Reference Number (6-digit number on the front of your Ridacard, to the left of your photograph), your Ridacard number (the 8-digit number beneath the word “Ridacard”), your name, address and contact telephone number.

Emails to this inbox will be processed as soon as we can, but you will not receive a response. Any personal details you supply will only be used to identify your account, process your request and contact you if necessary regarding this.

If you choose to cancel in this way:

  • Cards will be cancelled immediately and will not be accepted for travel on our services.
  • Any subscription payments which are not due within the next 7 days will be stopped.
  • If you have a payment due in the next few days, we recommend you also cancel the direct debit mandate with your bank.

For refunds of any associated credit balances, this is likely to take us longer than usual to process – we initially anticipate that this may take at least one month but may take longer. Refunds once processed will be credited directly to the originating bank account where available, or otherwise will be made by cheque and posted.

I have an annual Ridacard – can I pause this if I need to stay at home (self-isolate) or work remotely?

We are facing testing times as a business and are doing everything we can to keep connectivity of critical services running through the vast majority of our network for key workers and essential travel.

We do not have the capability to pause or suspend our annual Ridacard product but you may cancel your card.

Our annual Ridacard is a heavily discounted product and will be refunded in line with our terms and condition outlined here

If you wish to cancel your annual Ridacard please email with your details and send your Ridacard to Lothian Buses, 55 Annandale Street, Edinburgh, EH7 4AZ. All refunds will be made via cheque .

I have an weekly or 4-weekly Ridacard – can I pause this if I need to stay at home (self-isolate) or work remotely?

We’re sorry but we’re unable to offer refunds or freeze weekly and 4 weekly Ridacards at this time.

I’ve lost my Ridacard – can I get a replacement?

In line with the latest government advice, our TravelHubs are now closed and we will not be able to issue replacements at this time. If your Ridacard is paid for by direct debit, you may be able to cancel it by emailing with your name, address and contact telephone number. Ordinarily, we would require the unique reference number displayed on your Ridacard in order to do this, but the team may be able to make an exception in this case.

Why aren’t you offering discounted rates while you’re running a reduced service?

We’re currently operating in completely unprecedented circumstances. In order to continue to operate a service – albeit a reduced one – to continue to provide vital links to frontline services, we are unable to offer any reduced rates. Our Ridacard is already a discounted product. We appreciate this may be frustrating but please be assured we are doing all we can to continue to provide a service for key workers and those who rely on our services during this crisis.

I have m-tickets which have expired – can I get a refund?

M-tickets are digital products which we are able to manage remotely. If you have any m-tickets which have expired on or after 23rd March 2020 owing to the 180-day validity, please drop us an email with the details and we can reinstate these tickets.

The easiest way to do this is within the app which will allow us to more easily locate your account. From the sidebar menu, go to “Contact”, followed by “Contact us by email”.

I have a question about my contactless payments?

If you want to query any travel or payments made within the last 7 days,  please check our customer portal at

At the earliest, payment for journeys will appear on your bank statement the day after you’ve travelled – this will be later if you’ve travelled over the weekend, or if the bus you travelled on has been offline. Viewing your journey and payment history using our customer portal and checking this against your bank statement is the quickest and best way to see how you’ve been charged for any journeys you’ve made.

Still have questions?  Please take a look at our comprehensive FAQs, which cover almost every aspect of our contactless payment scheme –

Please note that we can’t respond to individual enquiries at the moment.

I need to renew my national entitlement card?

National Entitlement card production has been suspended at this time. More information and advice can be found here:


Lost property

I have left an item on the bus, how do I get this back?

In light of the government advice, our Lost Property department is now closed to the public. All non-perishable items will be kept safe until the department reopens. When the department reopens to the public, we will announce this on our website and social media platforms.

Essential Items Only: If you have left an essential item (medication, keys, purse, wallet or mobile phone) on one of our services, please email and we may be able to assist you. Our team are dealing with a high volume of emails so please only contact us for these essential items.


Contingency planning

What contingency measures do you have in place if this continues?

Our team are closely monitoring the current situation and taking advice from Scottish Government and industry bodies including the Confederation of Public Transport. Our priority is to protect the safety of our customers and our colleagues. In addition, we will continue to liaise closely with Scottish Government and public health authorities on any further steps we are required to take. Please keep checking our website homepage at, our app which you can download at and our social media platforms for further information as soon as it becomes available.


Edinburgh Bus Tours

Why are there no tours available?

We are following government guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19, and have taken the decision to cease to protect our customers and staff. You can find out more on our website here:

When will tours restart?

We don’t know yet, but please keep an eye on our website and social media for further information when it is made available:

I have bought a voucher from – what should I do?

Please contact and a member of the team will be able to assist you.

I have bought a voucher from a third party website – GetYourGuide, TripAdvisor, Expedia, Visit Britain, Hotelbeds,, Klook, Tiqets etc. – what should I do?

Please check your confirmation and go back to the agent you bought the voucher from, as they’ll be able to help you. If you are unsure please get in touch with us at and someone from the team will be able to help you.

Can I buy a ticket for later in the year?

A. We have closed our online kiosk for sales for the moment and will make tickets available once we have a restart date. Please keep checking back on our website and social media for further information when it becomes available: