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SYPTE Update

Photo of seats on a bus

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive have asked us to share this update:

South Yorkshire bus capacity changes: Roadmap out of lockdown

As more restrictions are eased today in the Government’s Roadmap out of lockdown, more people can come together, and places and transport will be busier.

From today, Monday 17 May, operators are making changes in line with industry guidelines to increase seating capacity on buses in South Yorkshire to cater for the expected increase in demand. On some buses, customers might need to sit next to someone outside their household or ‘bubble’.

What is changing?                                                                                                                                                 

Previously, only around half of the seats were available on buses, in order to maintain social distancing in line with Government guidance. Drivers monitored and limited the number of passengers onboard to ensure everyone could travel safely.

From today, Monday 17 May, the majority of forward-facing seats will be available for use on buses in South Yorkshire - increasing capacity to between 60 and 80% of normal capacity. This provides the flexibility for operators to use the additional seating at peak times. Other seats, such as seats nearest the driver, rear-facing and face-to-face (for example rear bench seats) will remain ‘out-of-use’ and standing is discouraged.

The change has been made following a safety risk assessment by the industry, which considered a set of control measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission on vehicles.

Factors taken into account to mitigate risks include:

  • The continued mandatory wearing of face coverings
  • Vaccination programme and availability of testing
  • Low local infection rates
  • Timetable management and the monitoring of capacity
  • Ventilation – windows to remain open
  • Regular cleaning and protection of vehicles
  • The provision of customer information and guidance. 

We have discussed the matter with local authority Directors of Public Health and agreed that should local rates of infection change and require the re-introduction of greater limits on capacity, we will quickly work with operators to reinstate these.

We need everyone to play their part to help people who need to travel to stay safe.

Travel information and advice

We are following Government advice to encourage people to help control the spread of COVID-19 when using public transport, to travel safely and to walk and cycle if they can.

As restrictions ease, transport services and roads are likely to be busier, so customers are advised to please plan ahead.

Those using public transport are being advised to check before they travel.

Operators are making more front facing seats available to increase capacity. Check which seats are available when you board and remember to travel safely.

We are asking customers to please be patient and flexible when they travel, avoid peak times, if they can, and consider others. Find out more about the best time to travel at or on the operator’s website.

Please follow the instructions on customer notices or given by staff.

A face covering must be worn when using public transport, in stations and interchanges. This applies to all passengers aged 11 and above, including on dedicated school buses, unless they are exempt. Customers are advised to wash or sanitise their hands frequently, keep a safe distance and open a window to increase ventilation where possible, and use contactless payment or buy their ticket in advance. 

The latest information about what South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and operators are doing to keep customers and staff safe can be found at

The latest travel disruption information can be found at

Our Traveline team are also available on weekdays between 7am and 7pm and at weekends between 8am and 7pm on 01709 515151 to answer customer queries.

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