Tips for travelling safely

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

There are no COVID-19 rules or restrictions in Scotland. There are things you can do to stay well and protect others, read these and find out more about Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Scotland.

Before you travel

  • It’s so important to make sure your parents, carers, guardians or friends know where and when you’re travelling. Especially if you’re using bus for the first time, or not used to travelling far from home.
  • When you get your card, give someone you trust a note of your 16-digit card number (the one beside the blue ‘ITSO’ logo).
  • Plan your journey. You’ll travel so much more confidently when you know which bus to catch, how long your journey will be and which stop to get off.
  • Make sure you have your card! If you don’t have this when you board you won’t be able to travel for free.

On the bus

  • Find a seat as soon as you can. If there are no seats, make sure you hold onto a rail.
  • When you’ve got a seat, put your bags between your feet or on your lap – don’t take up a seat with them.
  • Give the driver plenty of time when you ring the bell before your stop to allow the bus to safely and smoothly pull into the stop.
  • If you need to know when it’s your stop, ask the driver when you get on. They will let you know when it’s time.
  • If the bus doors have closed before you have been able to get off at your stop and you need them reopened, call out to the driver.
  • Don’t distract the driver when they are driving unless you see something that’s not right – a safety issue affecting you or another passenger.
  • Take extra care when travelling at night. Make sure someone knows where you are, know your route and be especially aware of everything that is happening around you.

If you are concerned about your safety or the safety of others

Move away from danger if possible

Alert the driver if you feel any concern

Listen for instructions from the driver

Making travelling easier

  • If you have a physical disability or require a little extra help to get on and off the bus safely, most buses have access via a ramp which the driver will ensure you can access.
  • If you have limited mobility, are a wheelchair user or feel unsteady on your feet, for your ease, seats and spaces have been set aside for you at the front of the bus.
  • If you require to alight the bus by ringing the bell, you should be able to do this easily from your seat, however if you have difficulty accessing it please just ask a fellow passenger for assistance – people are generally happy to help.

Thistle Assistance Card

You may also wish to get the Thistle Assistance Card. It’s a free information card that shows your disability at a glance for the driver, alerting them to the help and assistance you need when travelling. The card is available from a range of public authorities and transport providers. Please contact your local Regional Transport Partnership to find out about availability in your area, or request a card through the Thistle Assistance Card website.

If you’re not feeling well

  • If you’re not feeling well or you see someone who looks like they need help, speak to the bus driver and they will help to arrange medical help.
  • Please do not board the bus if you’re not feeling well at the stop. You will be able to get help to you much quicker at the bus stop.

Other advice for staying safe as you travel

Tips for parents and guardians

We’re encouraging all parents and guardians to have conversations with their kids about safe and confident bus travel.

Getting and using your card

Nearly one million children and young people under 22 in Scotland could benefit from free bus travel.

What happens when you get the bus

If you’ve never travelled on the bus by yourself, here’s what to do.