More busses are scheduled to operate across Brighton and Hove starting from next week since the coronavirus lockdown has been eased. For sure, the city buses will be extremely busy next week, so there are new guidelines on how to utilize them.
Martin Harris, Managing Director of Brighton and Hove Buses, said: “As of Monday 1 June, there will be a very substantial rise in service, nearly doubling the average level of service from 40% to about 80%.
It will run more regular services as more workers will begin to return to work.
The bus system plays a vital role in the responsible re-opening of the communities and the economy. It aids key workers, those who return to school, and others who will eventually start to go shopping and, in the coming days, to visit family members and friends again.
Brighton and Hove Buses New Guidelines
The company advises travelers to wear a face mask and wash their hands whenever they travel.
There would be deep cleaning, workers will be wearing personal protection gear, posters promoting social distancing, and extra cleaning on the road.
The company encourages people to travel by bus only on important trips, and also not to travel if they feel sick or have signs of Covid-19.
Mr. Harris said: “Even though we suggest essential journeys only, new levels of service are being set for each route after a comprehensive review.” The study looked at the number of passengers on each route during the lockdown period and took into account the need to enforce social distancing regulations.
“With the additional capacity of twice as many public buses, the social distancing guidelines must still be regulated and enforced through any trip.
The company strongly advises to sit two meters apart and make use of the upper deck of the bus. The passengers should not line up in the aisle or standing just next to the driver.
It urges opening the windows to have proper airflow and disinfecting or washing your hands once the trip is over.
“The current lower capacity level, which comprises 24 bendy buses and approximately 30 double-deckers, will be visible on the side of our buses starting on 1 June.
“The seats within two meters from the driver would still be unavailable, and so will the rear-facing seats, but then the other seats could be used flexibly to allow people to distance themselves depending on the circumstances.”
“Of course, families and individuals traveling together can reasonably sit together.”
There is a lot of information on the website of Brighton and Hove Buses and vital communications are also displayed on their buses.
“Like at the supermarket, our drivers are ‘at the door’, watching for total capacity,” Mr. Harris added.
“If the drivers decide to place the ‘full’ sign on the front of the bus before space is available again, we’ll encourage people to cooperate with us and follow the driver’s advice. These instances will be supervised and further decisions on the provision of services will be made aware.”
Cleaning methods, including high-frequency interior cleaning and extra on-street cleaning, are enforced to high-touch areas. A team of drivers who volunteer to work as cleaners will also do additional cleaning activities using hospital-grade antiseptic products.
The company partners with its sister companies on a new “when to travel” app that keeps customers updated, includes sharing journeys beyond the busiest times to help passengers better schedule their travel.
“We are about to test this and hopefully make this available for the passengers in Brighton and Hove immediately.
He added: “All the efforts from everyone here in the company were done to keep infection rates at almost zero with around 1,500 employees by wearing PPE, safe practices, minimal cash contact as well as intensive bus cleaning and sealing.”
“Our colleagues and our passengers’ health and well-being are important. We have been working with Unite, the union, during Covid-19 to do whatever we can to support our work colleagues.”
“We have been carrying out new risk analysis for quite a while and we can guarantee that we are COVID-19 safe certified employer.”