Bus services ramped up to coincide with re-opening of shops on Monday
Lothian has increased frequencies as First Glasgow and Stagecoach unveils biggest boost since lockdown.
Bus operators are gearing up for increased passenger demand when many shops re-open as part of the latest stage of lockdown easing on Monday.
However, capacity in vehicles has been reduced to around one quarter of usual because of the need for passengers to stay 2 metres apart.
Passengers have been ordered to wear face coverings since Monday, along with drivers not protected by a screen.
Lothian, Edinburgh’s main operator, has added services to bring its operations to around 50 per cent of normal levels since last Sunday.
It plans a further increase in mid to late July.
A Lothian spokesperson said: “We are not expecting a big surge in passengers on Monday, but we will be closely monitoring it and see what we can do if that does happen, although it will not be an overnight solution.”
Borders Buses will be “significantly” boosting services across its network from Monday.
It said its routes X62, X95, 253, 51 and 52 would serve Edinburgh again for the first time in three months after being limited to the Borders and Berwick.
First Glasgow, the main operator in Scotland’s largest city, will double services from 37 per cent to 70 per cent of normal.
They are due to further increase to 80 per cent in the next few weeks.
The operator said the boost followed extra funding from the Scottish Government’s Transport Scotland agency.
Managing director Andrew Jarvis said: “We welcome the additional funding from Transport Scotland, which will enable us to increase services and support the continued well being of our customers and drivers through ensuring safe travel on our buses.
“This is critical as more employees start returning to work following the [Scottish] Government’s announcement that some non-essential shops can reopen on the 29 June.
“We expect there will still be occasions when customers may not be able to board their intended journey due to capacity levels being reached.
“We are therefore advising people to check their journey details in advance on our app, avoid busier periods, which are currently the afternoon, and allow extra time for their journey as they may need to wait if their bus is full when it arrives.
“The well being of customers and our team is my number one priority, and I would like to thank customers for their ongoing patience and co-operation in these difficult times.
“I would also like to pay tribute to all my colleagues at First Glasgow who have been superb throughout the last three months and have helped keep the key workers of the region moving.
“As the lockdown continues to ease, we all have a crucial role to play in getting the wider population moving again safely.”
From Monday, Stagecoach and its sister operators Citylink and Megabus will double services and plan to resume timetables later in the summer.
Like First and Borders Buses, Stagecoach has a new smartphone “busy bus” indicator to help passengers choose quieter services.
Regional director Scotland Sam Greer said: “We remain extremely proud of the fantastic efforts of all of our employees across the country in recent months.
“Our people have made a huge contribution to the national effort and we’d like to thank every one of them and our customers for their support.”
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website.
While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive.
We are now more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism.
Subscribe to scotsman.com and enjoy unlimited access to Scottish news and information online and on our app.
Visit https://www.u2swisshome.com/subscriptions now to sign up.
By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.