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

Page last updated: 24/07/20

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

Lothian encourage all customers to follow Scottish Government’s guidance and to plan their journeys in advance using our mobile app or the journey planner on our website.

All customers must wear a face covering when traveling on our network unless exempt.

Our Waverley TravelHub will reopen on Saturday 11th July. Our Shandwick Place TravelHub, Park and Ride sites and Airlink Kiosk remain 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 mail@lothianbuses.co.uk

Our lost property department also remains 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 https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Bus services

Can I continue to travel on Lothian’s critical services?
Our services are currently operating a reduced service and customers are advised to plan their journeys in advance using our mobile app www.tfpapp.com or through our journey planner on our website at https://www.lothianbuses.com/live-travel-info/journey-planner/.

Do I need to wear a face covering?
We would ask customers to follow the Scottish Government’s advice that people must wear a face covering when using public transport. This advice also states that the wearing of a face covering for very young children or those with particular health conditions is not appropriate. Further guidance on face covering is available here.

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 at least 20 seconds) with hot water and soap or hand sanitiser before and after travelling.
  • Use a tissue for coughs/sneezes and take these with you when you leave the bus. Catch it, bin it, kill it.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • You must wear a face covering such as a scarf or bandana when using our services, unless you are exempt on medical grounds.
  • Follow our on-bus social distancing measures, such as sitting apart from others and leaving every other seat empty; make use of all spaces, including the upper deck where available; don’t crowd one another; and stand behind the line on the floor when waiting to disembark.
  • If unwell, do not travel. Remain at home.

Hygiene practices and physical distancing

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.

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 one-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 while in Phase 3 of the route-map out of lockdown.

We would ask customers to play their part in ensuring the safety of those who are reliant on us during this crisis by reading and complying with our on-bus instructions.

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 physical 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.

We have also introduced a series of measures to further enhance driver and customer protection including:
• Enhanced cleaning regimes on all vehicles
• The creation of hand sanitiser dispensing areas for our driving team so that colleagues can top up small containers for use at work
• Removal of all vehicles from service that do not have driver cab screens fitted
• Installation of clear vinyl to cover gaps on the screens in the drivers cabs
• Application of tape to the floor 2m from the drivers cab area
• Cordoning off the front two seats on vehicles where these seats are located close to the driver’s cab
• The launch of a social distancing campaign on-bus and on our social media platforms to reinforce the critical messages to customers.

Ticketing

I’m returning to work – how can I get a new direct debit Ridacard?

Did you know we have various ticketing options available? Please take a look and see if direct debit still meets your needs.

If you are looking to either restart or set up a new direct debit, please visit the Waverley TravelHub where our team can help you complete an application form, take your photograph and issue you with your new Ridacard. If you can, please download our application form and complete this prior to your visit. If you already have a Ridacard, please return this to the TravelHub when you visit.

If you are looking to set up an annual, weekly or 4-weekly Advance Purchase Ridacard, please visit our Waverley TravelHub during opening hours where our team will be happy to help.

I’m still paying for my Direct Debit subscription because I need to travel, but the Ridacard has expired – how can I get this renewed?

Our Waverley TravelHub will reopen on Saturday 11 July. Please visit our TravelHub during opening hours where our team will be happy to help.

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

Our Waverley TravelHub will reopen on Saturday 11 July. If you pop in to our TravelHub during opening hours and our team will be happy to assist you.

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

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 directdebit@lothianbuses.co.uk 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 have requested cancellation of your direct debit Ridacard, then your card and subscription will be cancelled as soon as is possible – understandably, our volumes for Ridacard cancellations are much higher than usual. For this reason, we also recommend that you cancel the Direct Debit instruction with your bank.

Given the high volume of requests, refunds of associated credit balances are also taking us longer than we would expect to process. We are also reliant on external parties for direct debit accounts and, in some cases, it is taking us up to 30 days to process these requests. Refunds are calculated as the time in days between you telling us you want to cancel your subscription, and the valid to date which was generated by your last successful payment. Once processed, refunds will be credited directly to the originating bank account where available, or otherwise will be made by cheque and posted.

I have an Annual, 9-month, weekly or 4-weekly Advance Purchase Ridacard – what happens to the travel I’ve paid for but cannot use?

We will make sure that you can use the travel that you’ve paid for.

For Ridacards with valid products which customers have not used, Lothian will extend the validity of these tickets. This extension will be equal to the difference in days between either the 24th of March or the last usage of the ticket thereafter; and either the date you wish to start travelling on our services again, or the expiry of the product on the card – whichever is earlier.

To claim the extension, customers should take their Ridacard to a Lothian TravelHub, where our team can help you. Your extension will start from the day you visit us. We can’t set this to start from a date in the future, so please don’t visit until you are ready to start using your Ridacard again.

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 https://abt.cloudfare.co.uk/

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 – https://www.lothianbuses.com/contactless-capping-faqs/

I need to renew my National Entitlement Card?

Following the temporary suspension of card production, and in line with safe physical distancing measures, limited card production for National Entitlement Cards has recommenced from Monday 1 June.

Requests for replacements and renewals from existing cardholders are being processed.

Local Authorities are now accepting requests for renewals and replacements for lost, stolen or broken cards. Priority is being given to those in the over 60’s and disabled person’s Concessionary Travel Schemes. More information and advice on the national scheme can be found here on Transport Scotland’s website:
https://www.transport.gov.scot/concessionary-travel/national-entitlement-card-bus-pass-production-suspended/

Lost property

I have left an item on the bus, how do I get this back?
Our Lost Property Department reopens on Monday 27 July by appointment only. Check out our Lost Property page for more information.