We're here for when you need us
More people are starting to use our buses – and the government are now encouraging people back to public transport – so we've put together this handy guide to travelling with us.
Most services are now running to times similar to their pre-coronavirus timetables to help support the opening of shops, pubs and leisure venues, so we're here for when you need us.
You can view all the timetables in our timetables and maps section – simply select your service and change the calendar to your desired date.
COVID-19 safety information and travel tips
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 and how many seats website features to see how many seats are left on your bus
- 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
- If you're feeling unwell, please don't travel
On your journey
- Only sit next to a member of your household or bubble
- If possible, leave a row in front and behind you clear
- Unless you are exempt, please wear a face covering throughout the duration of your journey – see latest guidance for face coverings
- Use contactless payments or the Go North East app where possible, as we're unable to give any change
- Be patient and please follow any instructions provided by our team members
- Wash or sanitise your hands as frequently as possible
- Please open windows to help with ventilation
Completing your journey
When you finish your journey, you should:
- Follow guidance at your destination
- Walk and cycle from public transport to your destination, where possible
- Wash or sanitise your hands as soon as possible
We're Good to Go
We want to reassure you that travelling by bus is safe – we've put a series of measures in place to make sure that our buses are clean and tidy for you. Watch our video below to see what we've been doing over the last few months.
We've also achieved VisitBritain's 'Good to Go' accreditation, which confirms that we're adhering to government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, and have rigorous cleaning, social distancing and safety measures in place.
How many seats are left on my bus?
When planning in advance use our handy When2Travel prediction tool to see when's the best time to travel, then use our how many seats feature on the day to see how busy your bus is in real-time – it'll even tell you if your bus is going to be a single or double-decker and what features it has, such as free Wi-Fi and USB charging.
Flexi 5 tickets
If you're a part-time worker, or just working more flexible at the moment, we have the perfect solution for you – check out our new range of Flexi 5 tickets. They're just like you usual weekly ticket but split over any 5 individual days to help you get the best value for money.
Changes to interchanges, high streets and road layouts
To aid social distancing, some changes have been made to interchanges, high streets and road layouts across the region – view our handy guide for the latest information.
Who may and may not travel?
As per government advice, anyone can now travel with us. We just ask that you familiarise youself with our safety and travel advice on this page if you haven't travelled with us for a while.
Please don't travel if you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, are self-isolating as a result of coronavirus symptoms or sharing a household or support bubble with somebody with symptoms, are clinically extremely vulnerable and cannot shield during your journey, or have been advised by the NHS test and trace service that you should self-isolate.
What timetable is being operated?
Most services have returned to timetables that are similar to their pre-coronavirus times. They can all be viewed in our timetables and maps section.
Are there any timetable changes soon?
On 1 June we increased our weekday services to near normal levels of service and on 4 July weekend services were also increased. Some evening services were addtionally increase from 18 and 25 July. We are continuing to monitor demand and will provide updates if anything further will be changing.
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. If for any reason a wheelchair user is unable to travel with us, a complimentary taxi will be arranged.
What steps will you take to maximise social distancing and how can we help?
If possible, leave a row in front and behind you clear. Some seats will be taped off, so please don't use these. 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, even through the day with touchpoints rubbed down and a deep clean is done each night. Watch our safety video above to see some of the things we've done to enhance our cleaning regime.
Is hand sanitiser available on board?
No, we are unable to provide hand sanitiser. 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. We've also launched two innovative features on our website that let you see how busy our buses are going to be. 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. Then on the day, you can use our live ‘how many seats are left on my bus' feature to see if the bus you're going to catch is quiet or not.
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.
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 social distance capacity. We'll continue to monitor all journeys and should anything change we'll look to see if we can 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 provide the correct fare as we're unable to give change as our drivers are no longer handling cash. Where possible, use contactless payments or the Go North East app instead.
Are there any Go North East travel shops open?
Sorry, our travel shop at intu Metrocentre isn't open. If you require any help, our customer services team are online from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. You can call us on 0191 420 50 50, use live chat on our website, or contact us on Facebook or Twitter.
The information on this page was last updated on 28 July 2020.