With operators demonstrating their ability to alter their practices to accommodate greatly reduced numbers of passengers in the coronavirus pandemic, GAVIN BOOTH considers how the industry might need to change as the UK gradually eases the lockdown restrictions and the public needs to regain its confidence about using public transport
As lockdown rules are eased in the UK, bus operators are cautiously ramping up frequencies after two months when passenger numbers were often barely 10% of the pre-coronavirus pandemic levels.
Routes were withdrawn, frequencies cut drastically and extra safety measures were introduced to protect both passengers and drivers. Operators quickly adapted to the current crisis. Bus-cleaning regimes were upgraded, drivers were being protected as much as possible, passengers were encouraged to wear facemasks, cash fares were discouraged and in London centre doors were used for boarding.