Using public transport in Scotland during COVID-19

This section features general advice on using public transport.

On 20 November 2020 new regulations came in to force that restrict travel in or out of level 3 and level 4 local authority areas, except for essential purposes. The Scottish Government has published guidance on these restrictions.

The Transport Scotland guidance on safe travel is still valid and should be read in conjunction with the Scottish Government guidance.

You can find out what level applies to any area of Scotland via the postcode checker on the Scottish Government website.

passengers wearing face coverings at Glasgow Central Station

Travel only where necessary, stay local if you can and keep Scotland moving. Working from home is still your best option if possible.

If you have to travel, and you can be flexible with your time, try to travel outside of the morning or evening peak periods.

If you are using public transport:

Visit the Traveline Scotland website for help in planning your journey. 

Traveline Scotland logo


Rail

What you need to know

Services will have reduced capacity due to physical distancing requirements. 

If you normally travel by train, can you walk, wheel or cycle some of your journey? By doing so, you could save the seat for someone who really needs it. 

Key information

If travelling by train, services will have reduced capacity due to physical distancing requirements. Consider travelling outside of peak times as these services may be quieter.

Remember that timetable changes may also be in place - check your service on the ScotRail website

Travel during off peak hours if you can.

Particularly if travelling to and from Edinburgh or Glasgow, the evening peak (around 5 pm to 6 pm) is expected to be busy. 

If you are planning a night out, make sure that the last train home isn’t your last option.

Help planning your journey

Plan ahead and always check your travel options in advance.

Visit the ScotRail and Traveline Scotland websites for all the information you need to plan your journey.

Safe travel advice

ScotRail's five rules for safer travel are a helpful reminder of the steps you can take. For more information on safety measures, including mandatory face coverings on public transport, read our advice on how to travel safely.


Bus

What you need to know about travelling by bus

Services will have reduced capacity due to physical distancing. If you normally travel by bus, can you walk, wheel or cycle some of your journey?

By doing so, you could save the seat for someone who really needs it.

Key information

If you do travel by bus you may notice some changes. Some bus operators have introduced safety measures to the inside of buses to help maintain physical distancing requirements.

If travelling by bus, consider travelling outside of peak times as these services may be quieter.

Many operators now offer mobile apps to see how busy nearby buses are – helping you to plan ahead.

Remember that timetable changes may also be in place so leave a bit more time for your journey and check before you travel.

Travelling to school 

If you travel to school by bus you may notice some changes. Some operators have introduced safety measures to the inside of buses to help maintain physical distancing requirements. Please contact your school or bus operator for more details. 

Help planning your journey

Plan ahead and always check your travel options in advance.

Please visit Traveline Scotland for all the information you need to plan your journey. 

Their Covid-19 information includes a useful listing of bus operators across Scotland that have made service adjustments. 

 

Safe travel advice

For more information on safety measures, including mandatory face coverings on public transport, read our advice on how to travel safely.

Related information

Concessionary travel and Covid-19


Glasgow Subway

What you need to know

We need to keep public transport for essential journeys.

If you normally travel on the subway, can you walk or cycle some of your journey?

By doing so, you could save the seat for someone who really needs it.

Key information

If you need to travel around Glasgow by subway, services may have reduced capacity due to physical distancing requirements.

Consider travelling outside of peak times as these services may be quieter.

Help planning your journey

Plan ahead and always check your travel options in advance.

Please visit SPT’s website for all the information you need to plan your journey.

It includes information on Park and Ride, and their support for walking and cycling


Edinburgh Trams

What you need to know 

We need to keep public transport for essential journeys.

If you normally travel by tram, can you walk or cycle some of your journey? By doing so, you could save the seat for someone who really needs it.

Key information

If you need to travel around Edinburgh by tram, services may have reduced capacity due to social distancing requirements.

Consider travelling outside of peak times as these services may be quieter.

Help planning your journey

Plan ahead and always check your travel options in advance.

Please visit the Edinburgh Trams website for all the information you need to plan your journey.

Safe travel advice

For more information on safety measures, including mandatory face coverings on public transport, read our advice on how to travel safely.