Coronavirus (COVID-19) - FAQs
Fri 27th March 2020
These FAQ's are designed to help answer questions you may have about travelling by bus. The situation is continually changing and we will do our best to keep you up to date.We are also sending out e-newsletter on a regular basis so you can sign up to receive this by clicking on this link- newsletter.
Is it ok to use public transport?
Public transport provides a vital role in keeping the country running and ensuring critical sector workers can get to work and fulfil their roles. Following the guidance given by the Prime Minister on 23rd March to stay at home and only travel in certain circumstances this same guidance applies to using public transport. Visit the Government’s website for full details on the exemptions to leaving your home.
Will you be reducing or suspending any bus routes?
The industry, which transports more people than all other forms of public transport combined, is determined to maintain a national network through this unprecedented decline in bus and coach use, in particular to ensure that essential workers such as NHS staff, teachers and those in the food supply chain are able to get to work. As demand has fallen, we are making changes to services to better reflect this and match the resource we have in the right places. In doing so, we’ve concentrated on making sure we’re maintaining as many services as we can for those that will be relying on us for essential travel. Please refer to special timetables operating at this time by clicking here for route information.
What contingency measures do you have in place if the spread of the virus continues?
We have in place a dedicated team that is closely monitoring and managing the current situation. They communicate every day and have two virtual meetings each week. Our priority is to protect the safety of our passengers and our employees. In addition, we will continue to liaise closely with government and public health authorities on any further steps we should take.
What have you been doing to ensure your buses are clean?
We have extensive cleaning regimes in place to maintain high levels of hygiene to protect the health and well-being of our passengers and employees. These regimes are carefully monitored and reviewed. We are ensuring a greater focus on high-touch areas, improved the strength of our cleaning products and use personal protection equipment (PPE).
Can buses be extra ventilated at this time? Can you force windows to stay open for example?
We think this would have only marginal benefits in the context of local buses that stop very frequently and open the doors. The buses refresh air through regular intakes when the bus calls at a bus stop and most have windows that can be opened at any time.
How are you protecting your staff, such as drivers?
We are actively communicating with our drivers and reminding everybody of the importance of good hygiene practice. In addition, as with the main customer touch point areas, we are also increasing the frequency of cleaning within driver cabs and other areas our staff come into greater contact with.
What about the handling of cash?
To decrease direct contact, we are encouraging passengers to use alternative methods of payment to cash (where possible) although we do recognise that some of our passengers do not have access to our mobile app, our key cards or contactless payment cards. We will continue to accept cash, although drivers may take extra precautions as a safety measure. Please do not be offended if they do this. This is a temporary measure. We would appreciate the exact fare being tendered wherever possible.
How are you supporting older and disabled passengers to take advantage of the special early shopping hours some retailers are offering?
In order for customers to take advantage of exclusive early morning opportunities being offered by some shops, we are accepting any English concessionary pass for travel 24 hours until further notice.
How will I know if the situation has changed?
As the situation evolves, we will continue to engage with government, follow guidance from PHE and provide advice and updates to customers on our services. We will primarily be doing this using our website and e-mail communications and would advise passengers to keep an eye on these for updates. You can sign up for e-mails from Metrobus by clicking here.
I have been unable to use the full validity of my bus pass due to being told to self-isolate or work from home. Can I have a refund on the unused section?
We continue to provide bus services for those who require essential travel. However, we do have processes in place if a change in circumstances means that a passenger wants to freeze their travel or apply for a refund. Please contact our customer services team for more assistance with this.
I have bookings with Spirit of Sussex. Will these be cancelled?
In order to help protect everyone, all bookings up to and including 1st May have been cancelled. We will make a decision on trips booked for later in the year nearer the time, based on the most up to date government guidelines.
If my Spirit of Sussex booking is cancelled, will I get a refund?
If your trip has been cancelled, then one of the team will be getting in touch shortly to discuss this further with you.
How will you be supporting people with questions and concerns?
We recognise how important it will be for us to keep everyone up to date. We have a dedicated team of customer service advisors who currently work seven days a week. They can be contacted by telephone, e-mail or using our social media channels. We also have contingency plans in place to ensure there are enough staff to maintain these opening hours as this situation continues to develop. However, if there are any changes, we’ll provide updates. Updates on services will be available daily on our website and we will also send out e-mail newsletters at more regular intervals. You can sign up for e-mails for Metrobus here.
Your Travel Shops are closed how do I contact you?
Our customer services team are still available to assist you. Please email us on email@example.com or contact us on social. Our phone lines are currently experiencing high volumes of calls so please only phone if your call is urgent on 01293 449191.