We're safe and ready when you are!

Last updated: 01/09/2020

In line with guidance from the government, our buses have started returning to what can be considered our ‘normal’ level of service.

Most services have now returned to timetables that are similar to their pre-coronavirus times on weekdays and the latest phase of our service increases came into force from Sunday 30th August 2020. Changes were made to a number of our city services and journeys to match the new levels of demand and allow customers to effectively practice social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Our airline service is now running frequently once again to both Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

View timetables and understand current frequencies.

To help you travel safely on our buses, you can use our new When2Travel feature allowing you to check predicted bus capacities before you go! 

Face coverings are now required on public transport. Find out more.

We're Good to Go!

We're pleased to announce that we've achieved VisitEngland's Good to Go accreditation, confirming that we're following government and industry COVID-19 guidelines on cleanliness and social distancing!

Find out more about the measures we’ve taken to help keep you safe when you travel with us.

Message from David Brown

In a video, Our Go-Ahead's CEO, David Brown, explains why you can travel with confidence on bus services. We're safe and ready when you are!

Watch the video


Who may and may not travel?

Anybody may now use public transport for journeys. 

Don’t travel by bus if you feel unwell or have COVID-19 symptoms.

See the government guidelines for passengers. These also advise you not to travel if you are clinically extremely vulnerable. We therefore recommend you take expert medical advice on this before you do travel if you are unsure whether or not this classification refers to you.

What timetable is being operated?

Most services have returned to timetables that are similar to their pre-coronavirus times on weekdays. Frequencies on many evening services have been reduced due to the continued closure of leisure and entertainment venues and services on weekends are running to special timetables.

Are there any timetable changes soon?

Changes were made from Sunday 19th July, where we began operating again to Gatwick Airport and we also increased the number of journeys we operate.

From Sunday 30th August, changes were made to a number of our bus services and journeys to
match the new levels of demand and allow customers to effectively practice social distancing measures
during the COVID-19 pandemic.

From Sunday 21st September 2020, changes were made to your city35 timetable to reflect the reopening of George Street and to match the current levels of demand.

We have no further changes planned at the moment, but we're constantly reviewing the situation and we will provide advance notice of any future changes on this page and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

What if I'm disabled and require assistance?

If a disabled passenger requires assistance they should request this in the same way they usually would. For more details please see our accessibility page. If you are concerned about asking our drivers for assistance while maintaining social distancing, consider using our journey assistance cards which can be downloaded here

What steps will you take to maximise social distancing and how can we help?

To help customers to effectively maintain social distancing, the capacity of our buses has temporarily been reduced to the range displayed on the vehicle. The exact capacity will vary depending on those passengers who can sit closer together from the same household, and our drivers have been asked to use their discretion. Find out more.

We ask that you use alternate rows when travelling with us and sit by the window, leaving an empty row in front and behind you. We also ask that you socially distance yourself from others whilst waiting at bus stops, and stand back to let other people off the bus before boarding.

Do I need to wear a face covering? 

Yes, you now need to wear a face covering on public transport. This can be a mask, scarf, snood, bandana or even something you can make out of an old t-shirt. There are also some people that will be exempt from wearing a face covering - see our latest guidance.

What additional cleaning is being carried out?

Our buses are being cleaned regularly and we have implemented additional daily touchpoint cleaning using a virucidal chemical, which helps prevent viruses and bacteria from settling on regularly touched surfaces. Watch our safety video above to see some of the things we've done to enhance the safety on-board our buses.

We’ve also acquired a “STORM” motor scrubber cleaning system. This allows us to quickly and efficiently clean and disinfect surfaces in our airline coaches.

Is hand sanitiser available on-board?

No, we are unable to provide hand sanitisers. We ask that you bring your own and wash your hands as often as possible, at least before and after every journey.

When is the best time to travel?

If you can, we ask that you travel outside of peak times to save space for those that have no other option but to travel at that time. Our When2Travel tool allows you to look up to two weeks ahead using a forecasting engine to predict how busy each bus will be, even down to individual bus stops.

What happens if the bus I'm waiting for is full?

Unfortunately, our capacity for each bus is reduced at the moment due to social distancing. If a bus is full, you may see the ‘bus full' sign on the front of the bus  and we kindly ask that you are prepared to wait for the next bus in cases like this. So far, we are only seeing a small number of journeys around peak time that are near our social distancing capacity. We are monitoring things daily and should there be any recurring issues, we'll look at providing further journeys.

Please use our When2Travel tool to check if you’re journey is likely to be busy.

What happens if the last bus of the day is full?

We won't leave anyone stranded with our last buses. We're continually monitoring passenger numbers and our last buses aren't reaching their “socially distanced” capacities. We'll continue to monitor all journeys and should anything change, we'll look to increase frequencies or duplicate journeys to ensure you can travel.

Can I pay with cash on the bus?

We only ask that you pay with cash if you have no other option. Please try to provide the correct fare. Where possible, use contactless payments or the app instead. We increased the spend limit for contactless payments on our buses from £30 to £45 on 3rd April 2020.
From 21st June, you were also able to use Freeflow, our new convenient way to pay for your bus travel that’s completely touch free.

Are there any Oxford Bus Company travel shops open?

Our Gloucester Green Travel Shop is now open! Our Queen's Lane Travel Shop reopened from Saturday 18th July, but temporarily it will only be used as a City Sightseeing information desk. Find out more.

If you require any help, our customer services team are online from Monday to Friday between 09:00hrs and 17:00hrs. You can call us on 01865 785400 or contact us on Facebook or Twitter.

How can I top up my key?

You can still top up your key card as normal via our online portal

If you don’t have access to the internet, you can temporarily top up your 1 week, 4 weeks, 12 trips and any 5 days products on the bus. Simply ask your driver for help with this. From Sunday 21st June, on-bus key top-ups for new products were also made available to be purchased directly from your driver. Find out more.

We would appreciate if our customers could please try to pay with contactless cards or devices during this time to avoid the need for unnecessary handling of cash as much as possible.

Who can I contact regarding bespoke transport needs?

Do you need to arrange transport for you or your key worker colleagues? We have a team ready to help with bespoke travel requirements. Get in touch by emailing info@oxfordbus.co.uk.


COVID-19 safety information and travel advice

Plan your journey

  • Plan ahead and use a direct route where possible
  • If you can, travel at quieter times and avoid travelling at peak times - use our handy When2Travel tool to help check the best times
  • Take hand sanitiser and a face covering - see latest guidance for face coverings
  • If you require assistance, you should continue to request this as you normally would
  • Wash or sanitise your hands before beginning your journey

On your journey

  • Maintain 2 metre distance where possible
  • Wear a face covering - see latest guidance for face coverings
  • Use contactless payments or the app where possible
  • Be patient and please follow any instructions provided by our colleagues
  • Wash or sanitise your hands as frequently as possible

Completing your journey

When you finish your journey, you should:

  • Follow guidance at your destination
  • Wash or sanitise your hands as soon as possible

What we've done to keep services running