From tomorrow (Saturday 30 May) 124 bus routes across London will return to front door boarding. Customers will once again be required to touch in with Oyster, contactless and concessionary cards. New limits to the number of customers on board will also be introduced to further ensure the safety of customers and drivers.
These buses will have signage instructing customers to board using the front door and to touch in using their Oyster, contactless or concessionary cards. Front door boarding will be reinstated on more routes as soon as possible. TfL anticipate all London buses will have returned to front-door boarding by mid-June.
Extensive work to assess the risks for drivers in their cabs has been carried out, and TfL has worked alongside bus operators and Unite the Union to develop improvements to the protective screens next to drivers. The analysis finds that the steps taken – adding a film layer to screens, and sealing off gaps around the screen including the Oyster reader – substantially reduce the risk to drivers of contracting coronavirus from customers. This is in addition to the rigorous cleaning regime where driver’s cabs, handrails and other regularly touched surfaces are treated with hospital-grade anti-viral disinfectant.
Reinstating the traditional passenger flow into buses from the front will improve social distancing for customers when they get on or off our buses, and when they queue at stations and stops. It will also give us accurate information about bus usage to help ensure we are providing the service required to enable safe travel for all.
To further ensure the safety of customers and bus drivers, new limits to the number of customers on board at any one time will be introduced. Double deck buses will be able to carry up to 20 customers. Single deck buses, depending on the size of the vehicle, will be able to carry between six and 10 customers. The driver will have discretion to allow more customers on board if they are travelling in households or groups.