Alerts 29 Bus

Frequently Asked Questions  - Travel and COVID-19

Last updated: 23/07/2020

 

What is the current status of public transport in West Yorkshire?   

We are working closely with bus and rail operators to ensure the public transport network is as resilient as possible and to address the significant capacity challenge created by the need to accommodate growing numbers of people while maintaining social distancing. 

Public transport is available, but capacity is limited and we ask that passengers allow extra time, follow social distancing guidelines and check their journey before travelling. Cycling and walking journeys should be considered if it is possible to do so. For more information on cycling and walking visit cyclecityconnect.co.uk

 

How can I help? 

We are asking passengers who have to travel to follow social distancing, to wash their hands before and after travel, to wear a face covering, carry hand sanitiser and to use contactless payments.  

  

When is the best time for me to travel? 

Buses in our towns and cities are running mostly as normal between 7am and 7pm Monday to Friday and are currently busy throughout the day. A limited service is operating in the evening and at weekends. The capacity of buses is limited to meet social distancing and, if the bus becomes full, you may not be able to board. We are asking people to consider alternative ways of travelling, such as walking or cycling, or to allow more time for journeys.

The First Bus App allows people to see the available capacity on First services in West Yorkshire by showing how many empty seats there, helping people to plan their journeys. Download the First Bus App.

Trains are operating at least hourly on most routes however space is limited to meet social distancing and you may find the train to be uncomfortably busy especially at peak times. 

 

Is travel information up to date? 

The latest travel information is available from wymetro.com and @MetroTravelNews on Twitter and via our real-time screens at bus stops. Changes in services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will mean printed information at bus stops is likely to be out of date which we are addressing but with 14,000 bus stops this will take some time. 

Bus companies First and Transdev have included live information on how busy their buses are on their mobile apps. 

First App

Transdev App

 

I am experiencing symptoms of Covid-19. Can I travel? 

No, in line with government guidelines you must self-isolate for at least 7 days. For the latest guidelines visit gov.uk 

  

I live with someone who has symptom of Covid-19. Can I travel? 

No, in line with government guidelines you must self-isolate for at least 14 days. For more information visit gov.uk 

  

If there is limited capacity will my bus or train become full?

It is possible that more people travelling will mean buses and trains may become full more often as operators adhere to social distancing guidelines. If you do need to travel, we are suggesting you plan ahead and take extra time for your journey.  Please be patient and consider other travel options if you have them.Transport operators are setting out their own plans for how they will accommodate people onto buses and trains and we are asking people to follow those instructions. 

 

Why is my bus not stopping to pick up passengers? 

Drivers will be monitoring the number of people travelling on the bus and once the bus is full drivers will be unable to pick passengers up until someone gets off the vehicle. 

  

What assistance is provided for disabled passengers?

Support for disabled passengers remains the same as before coronavirus. More information is available on individual bus and rail operator’s websites. A full rundown of all operators can be found by clicking on this link.

 

If I am a wheelchair user, will I still be able to get on the bus with social distancing in place? 

Operators are asking passengers to consider the travel needs of disabled passengers and wheelchair users and will do all they can to prioritise access to the wheelchair space for a wheelchair user.

 

What assistance is there for people who are blind or visually impaired?

To comply with social distancing requirements, transport operators have restricted the number of seats available on their services. Ask for assistance if you need help to find a suitable seat.

We recognise that some people who are blind or visually impaired can find it hard to scan their travel pass on the ticket machine on the bus, and usually pass their travel pass to the driver to scan it.  Whilst social distancing is still in place, you can just show your blind person’s pass to the driver as you get on the bus, rather than having to scan it.

 

Can I sit next to a member of my household on a bus or train? 

Yes, in line with government guidelines, you only need to social distance from someone outside your household including on a bus or train.

 

Do I need to wear a face covering? 

Yes, Government guidelines require people to wear a face covering on public transport with exemptions for the very young and those with disabilities or breathing difficulties. From 24 July people will also be required to wear a face covering, unless exempt, across all Bus Stations, Travel Centres and Interchanges in West Yorkshire in line with revised Government guidelines covering retail outlets.

A face covering is something that covers your mouth and nose. A guide to making your own can be found here

Children under 11 do not have to wear a face covering. A full list of exemptions from wearing a face covering can be found here.

You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a reasonable excuse not to. Reasonable excuses include:
• not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
• if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
• if you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
• to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others
• to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
• to eat or drink, but only if you need to
• to take medication
• if a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering

Those exempt from wearing a face covering can download an assistance card here to help communicate this to staff on bus and rail services in West Yorkshire. You can print them off or take a picture on your phone to show staff. 

 

Are you supplying face masks?  

No, it is up to people using public transport to provide their own face covering. The rules do not require the use of a mask. A scarf or a face covering made from materials found at home will be acceptable. 

 

What additional cleaning is being carried out?


Extra cleaning is being carried out across all Bus Stations, Interchanges and shelters in West Yorkshire. This includes extra attention to ensure touch points are regularly cleaned and remain disinfected. Bus and rail operators are also carrying out additional cleaning to ensure vehicles are as safe as possible for customers. Measures include increased cleaning frequency of grab rails and poles, entrance door handles and all touch points. Operators are also encouraging staff to increase hand washing frequency and are providing additional cleaning facilities to enable them to do so.

Are you providing hand sanitiser?


Currently we are not providing hand sanitiser for passengers. This is constantly under review and any update will be communicated as soon as possible.

 

How safe are buses? 

Operators have procedures in place to help maintain social-distancing and we are asking people to observe those rules for their own safety and that of other passengers and staff. Transport operators have adopted cleaning regimes in line with Government guidelines.  

  

How safe are Bus Stations/shelters?  

We are following government guidelines and are carrying out additional cleaning at our bus stations and interchanges as well as modifications to support social distancing. Additional signage is being provided across the bus network to advise customers of the precautions to take. 

  

How are you safeguarding transport staff?  

The safety of our staff is paramount and we are closely following the advice from Public Health England. We have increased the cleaning of contact surfaces in line with guidelines and our staff are following social-distancing guidelines. Face masks are available for staff who would like to use them but this is voluntary. 

  

Concessionary Travel Passes  

We are strongly urging people to consider whether their journey is necessary before using public transport.  Senior, Blind or Disabled pass holders who do need to travel may use concessionary passes after 0930 Monday to Friday. Senior, Blind or Disabled Travel Passes along with young people’s Under 16 or 16-18 MCards can be ordered online at wymetro.com

  

What is the position for Corporate and Annual MCard holders?  

We are advising customers to hold on to their existing Annual MCards if they have been forced to stop travelling following the Government’s instructions for people to stay at home and only use public transport if their journey is essential.    

MCard customers who have an annual ticket will be able to extend the duration of the product so that any unused value can be used once things return to normal.  For more information visit m-card.co.uk   

  

What about school buses?   

Some school buses are operating to schools which are open, parents are requested to contact their school with regards to the re-introduction of school transport. For more information visit wymetro.com/schools/covid-19-information/ 

  

Are AccessBus services running?  

Access Bus is operating a limited service as services are restored following the lockdown period. The service has resumed for existing customers who need to travel for shopping needs and is being limited to five passengers per a vehicle to enable social distancing.

The service is currently operating in Wakefield and Calderdale only. A service will return to Leeds, Bradford and Kirklees on the below dates:

• Kirklees - From 27 July

• Leeds and Bradford - From 10 August

 

Why have Temple Green and Elland Road Park-and-Rides closed?   

During the initial phase of the pandemic, demand for park-and-ride services declined to the point it was unsustainable to keep the park-and-rides open. Temple Green is now being used for COVID-19 testing. The restart of park-and-ride services will commence at a later stage of lockdown relaxation.  

  

Will cash still be accepted on buses? 

Operators are continuing to accept cash on buses; however, they are advising customers to buy tickets in advance or pay contactless.  

 

What should I do if I miss the final service of the day? 

Given current capacity constraints it is vital people leave plenty of time for their journey and do not rely on final services of the day.

  

I’m a key worker and revised timetables and reduced capacity buses aren’t meeting my needs? 

Operators are continuing to add more journeys and are monitoring the current situation. Please visit the operator websites to provide feedback on the current services. 

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