Travelling on public transport

last updated 14 May 2021 - updated in line with Government roadmap changes

South Yorkshire is currently subject to national restrictions.

While our public transport network continues to run, our priority is the safety of our customers and our staff. We need everyone to play their part to help people who need to travel to stay safe.

Anyone feeling unwell with symptoms of coronavirus - a new, continuous cough, loss of sense of taste or smell, or a high temperature – should not travel, to help to protect others from infection.

For the latest health information and advice about Coronavirus visit the NHS website:

What we need you to do

As restrictions ease, places and travel will be busier. Operators are making all front facing seats available to increase capacity. Check which seats are available when you board and remember to travel safely. This means you should:

  • Be patient and flexible when you travel, plan ahead and avoid peak times (we're currently experiencing busier times on weekdays between 3-4pm on bus and 7-9am and 3-5pm on tram). Check for busier times on our operator capacity app page.

  • Work from home unless it is not possible to do your job from home.

  • Walk or cycle if you can.

  • Due to social distancing, there will be reduced space on transport services and you may have to wait.

  • You must wear a face covering when using public transport if you can, keep a safe distance, wash or sanitise your hands frequently and use contactless payment or buy your ticket in advance.

  • Please follow the instructions on our notices or given by staff.

  • Be kind to other passengers and staff.

Your journey may take longer than normal and some routes may be busier than usual, but please be patient and considerate of staff and other customers during your journey.

It is likely that buses will reach capacity quickly and customers waiting at a bus stop may see buses drive past with ‘Bus Full’ signs on their destination screens. 

When buses have reached capacity (all available seats taken) the driver will only pull up at the stop to let a passenger get on if a passenger needs to get off. A strict ‘one-off, one-on’ policy will be in place. First and Stagecoach have updated their apps to show capacity indicators. You can find out more on our 'When is the best time to travel' page

You will need to allow extra time for your journey and be prepared to wait. 

While capacity is reduced on buses, there may be more people waiting to board the last bus than the bus is able to carry. If this happens, operator bus drivers will be able to get in touch with the depot for assistance. You may also wish to consider alternative means of travel to complete your journey.

As always, bus drivers will use their discretion when it comes to vulnerable customers.

Face coverings

You must wear a face covering onboard public transport as well as in interchanges and stations unless you're exempt. 

This helps to maintain a safer environment and prevent spreading the virus – you will be breaking the law if you fail to do so and could be fined. 

Don't forget you can check in using the NHS test and trace app with the QR code posters in our interchanges.

Interchange member of staff with sign saying ' Stay Safe' 

A face covering is a cloth covering that covers your nose and mouth - you should make or buy your own. You can find out how to wear and make a face covering on the website.

Children under 11 don't need to wear a face covering and exemptions will apply to some passengers due to health conditions or disabilities. This includes people who have breathing difficulties and other respiratory conditions, visual impairments or mental health conditions. You can find a list of exemptions on the website exemptions page.

If you have a health condition which means you’re unable to wear a face covering, you’ll need to let staff on board know. If it’s easier for you, you can download our journey assistance cards, and you can show the face covering exemption card when you travel.

Your driver may not be wearing a face covering if they are behind a screen, as the screen helps to provide protection.

You can find out more about the regulations on the website

What we are doing at our interchanges 

We’re working closely with bus, tram and rail companies to reassure people who need to travel that we're doing all we can to keep our customers safe and allow them to make the journeys they need to.

  • We’ve put focused cleaning regimes in place at all our interchanges which include extra attention to ensure doors, handrails, lifts and ticket machines remain disinfected.
  • Our toilets are free until further notice to give everyone access to handwashing.
  • We’re introducing barriers where needed, creating separate entrance and exit points to interchanges, with separate boarding and alighting where possible along with indoor and outdoor queue management. 
  • We’re working closely with local authorities to agree how to safely manage shared space to regulate customer numbers at interchanges and enable social distancing.

What operators are doing onboard

Public transport operators have stringent procedures in place to keep vehicles clean, with extra focus on common areas of customers contact. Specific measures include: 

  • increased cleaning frequency of all grab rails and poles, entrance door handles, window ledges and other touchpoints;
  • encouraging staff to increase their handwashing frequency, and providing additional cleaning facilities to enable them to do so; 
  • displaying NHS advice on vehicle; 
  • continuing to offer contactless payment on vehicle; and exact fare only cash payments to minimise contact.

We will continue to listen to customer feedback and monitor travel patterns to make service changes where they’re needed to help customers travel safely. 

You can feedback to us on our tell us form.