TfL prepares for school bus return
Transport for London (TfL) is to reintroduce measures similar to those introduced during the autumn school term as pupils return to the classroom from 8 March. These include providing hundreds of extra buses and reintroducing the system of signed ‘School Service’ buses, as well as encouraging walking and cycling. The measures are intended to help ensure children can travel to school safely, sustainably and on time, with free travel for children and young people still in place.
TfL’s extensive efforts to reduce the risk of infection on the network continue, including the enhanced cleaning regime deployed at the start of the pandemic and the enforcement of face coverings.
TfL is currently running as close to a full service as possible on the bus network. A full service will run on schoolday-only routes (generally numbered 600-699). Additional buses will be reintroduced on some of the busiest low-frequency bus routes, including existing school services, with priority given to routes on which schoolchildren travel longer distances.
Up to half of buses on certain busier, higher-frequency routes will be designated ‘School Services’ at school travel times between 7.30am and 9am in the morning and 2.30pm and 4.30pm in the afternoon. Buses signed as School Services will continue to operate at full seated capacity, consistent with Government guidance, while the current capacity limits on buses will remain on normal services.
TfL’s ongoing trial of 24-hour bus lanes on its own roads will continue to help maximise capacity and support social distancing on buses, keep journey times consistent throughout the day and reduce crowding at bus stops.
The measures will be kept in place at least until the end of the current term and will be kept under review. Plans for the summer term will be confirmed closer to the time.
Customers are being asked to keep bus windows open, even during cold weather, to ensure a fresh supply of air.