As you may now be aware, the Stagecoach bus services in the Chichester, Bognor Regis, Littlehampton and Portsmouth areas are now back up to around 80% of the former timetable. As a proud bus driver, I wanted to pass on the following information to help us all.
From Monday 15th June, the 09:30 start time for Older Person’s Bus Passes will be reinstated. The Government are also asking that everyone wears a face covering whilst using public transport. The driver may not be wearing a mask, as they are protected by their security screen. It may be more difficult for the driver to hear you because of this, and it’s very frustrating for everyone. We do understand that.
There are advisory social distancing restrictions placed on buses at the moment – it is recommended that only 11 people travel on a single decker bus, and 20 on a double decker. Please do travel upstairs if you are physically able to, as there is more space. Please always check the front of the bus destination screen – the display may say “Bus Full” and you may need to wait for the next bus if so. If you are a passenger on the bus that has to leave someone behind, please be reassured that we don’t like doing it, and it is very hard. We would never leave anyone behind without good reason, so please be kind.
Stagecoach have launched an app for smartphone users to check how busy their service is, allowing people to wait for less congested services – https://www.stagecoachgroup.com/media/news-releases/2020/2020-06-12.aspx I really recommend using this app, if you have the smartphone capability.
To protect the drivers and yourself, Stagecoach buses are only accepting exact fares, so any change over the price of the ticket that you require will be donated to NHS charities working to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Contactless or pass payments are very much encouraged, but if you do need to pay cash, please place it directly into the tray provided by the driver. You won’t be able to get a change voucher, as previously issued, as no driver is currently carrying cash. But we will always take vulnerable passengers, and look after those that just really need to get home…
And finally, from a driver and not a politician, please only travel if your journey is absolutely essential. It’s not only risking your health, but my health, and everyone else on the bus. Drivers have few and far between opportunities to wash our hands. We want you to be safe, and to be safe ourselves. Take care