Reintroduction of revenue collection on London buses completed last weekend

All London buses once again require passengers to pay a fare after Transport for London and the capital’s operator’s announced they have completed a programme to install additional safety measures across the bus fleet.

Passengers are now required to touch in with Oyster, contactless and concessionary cards on all buses, entering through the front doors on most buses in a near complete return to traditional front-door boarding arrangements.

The reintroduction of revenue collection and front-door boarding began in late May. This came after analysis from University College London’s (UCL) Centre for Transport Studies and Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering found the protective measures TfL had introduced, including sealing off gaps in the driver’s assault screen, significantly reduce the risk to drivers of contracting coronavirus from customers.

A huge range of cleaning and hygiene measures have also been introduced across the transport network to make it cleaner than ever before. This includes all regular ‘touch point’ areas such as poles and doors, being wiped down with a strong disinfectant every day, and the use of additional hospital-grade cleaning substances.

Other safety measures include the wearing of face coverings. Customers must wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth for their entire journey, unless they are exempt. Customers should not be taking the masks off mid-journey and the police and TfL’s enforcement officers are patrolling the transport network to ensure that everyone is following the rules, which are needed to help control the spread of the virus. Already more than 10,000 people have been stopped from travelling without a face covering.

A small number of buses – around 200 New Routemasters – continue to allow middle-door boarding only, and an additional 200 New Routemasters still permit boarding at the front, middle and rear. Work is underway to switch these to front-door boarding only as part of TfL’s existing plans to convert all New Routemasters to front door only boarding.

Temporary bus capacity limits have now been increased in line with the government’s latest social distancing guidance. Double-decker buses can now carry 30 passengers, while single-deckers, depending on size, can carry either 11 or 14 passengers. Signs on buses clearly mark these new passenger limits, and drivers have the discretion to allow more customers on board if they are travelling in household groups. A one customer off, one customer on policy operates on buses at full capacity.

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