Follow Government guidelines

Using buses in London

You must touch in on the yellow card reader on all routes.

Travelling safely

We have introduced measures to keep you and our staff safe at all times, so you can ride with confidence when travelling on the bus network.

See our guidance on safer travel in London.

Face coverings

You must wear a face covering, over your nose and mouth, for the full duration of journeys on the public transport network. If you do not, you could be denied travel, or receive a minimum £200 fine (reduced to £100 if paid within 14 days) which will double each time you are caught not wearing a face covering, up to £6,400.

Exemptions apply for age, health and disability reasons.

Find out more on our face coverings page.

Hand hygiene

Please make use of the hand sanitiser available at most bus stations.

Quiet times and places

Please continue to walk or cycle and travel at quiet times if possible.

The quiet times to travel on public transport are 08:15-16:00 and after 17:30 on weekdays, and before noon and after 18:00 on weekends. These times may change as schools and offices start to reopen.

If you are travelling outside quiet times, check the busiest stations, stops and routes.

Planning your trip

Our journey planner allows you to plan journeys by public transport across London. If you want to know about bus routes in your area, search our wide range of local area maps. Check for disruptions to your journey on our bus status updates page or use the TfL TravelBot on Facebook Messenger

Check out all our travel tools.

Cash-free travel

All buses in London are cash-free. This means you will need to have an Oyster card, contactless payment, a bus and tram pass, a paper Travelcard or Freedom Pass to travel on a London Bus.

At the bus stop

Bus stops may be busy - keep your distance to help keep everyone safe. Allow passengers space to get off the bus before you get on. If the driver tells you there are no more seats or wheelchair spaces, wait for the next bus.

At all our stops in London there is a sign showing the stop name, which routes stop there and in what direction they are heading. Many of our stops also have an information panel showing information about other bus routes in the surrounding area.

Bus drivers always look out for anyone waiting to board a bus. They will give you time to board safely, but once the doors have been closed please let the bus leave safely and wait for the next bus. Visit our live bus arrivals page to find out when the next bus will arrive.

All our buses are accessible. They can be lowered and have ramps for those who need help getting on or off.

If you are waiting at a bus stop and the bus drives past, it is likely it has reached its seating capacity. If the bus does stop, but is near capacity, the driver will only allow one person to board for every person that gets off. You may need to allow extra time for your journey and be prepared to wait. Try to travel before the last service of the day to avoid the risk of the last bus being full.

Hail and Ride

Buses operate a Hail and Ride service on some of our routes in outer London. There are no fixed stops so you can signal to the driver that you wish to get on or press the stop button to get off at any safe point along the road. You will be informed when the bus is entering and leaving the Hail and Ride section of the route.

On the bus

Once on board, either touch your card or payment device on the yellow reader or show your ticket or pass to the driver.

Move down inside the bus and use all available space and seats - there are often more seats on the top deck. 

Where possible, sit next to a window and open it for better ventilation. Make sure the bus windows stay open.

Wheelchair users have priority in the wheelchair space.

We've made safety improvements to driver screens on buses to help keep you and our drivers safe.

Standing on buses

You must remain seated on buses at all times. Standing is not currently allowed anywhere on a bus.

This is so that people can use all the space on both decks while maintaining social distance.

A small number of customers are unable to sit down due to an impairment or medical condition. These customers only are permitted to stand in the following areas on the lower deck:

  • By the middle doors if the middle doors open outward. For safety reasons do not stand by middle doors if they open inwards
  • By the priority seats if they are empty
  • In the wheelchair space, only if the wheelchair space is not occupied by a wheelchair user. This space is specifically designed, and prioritised for, wheelchair and mobility scooter users

If you stand in one of these places, maintain social distancing at all times and hold on to a handrail.

If you are have to stand but cannot stand in any of these areas, the driver may ask you to get off and wait for the next bus.

If you need to stand for a medical reason, carry a Travel Support Card so the driver knows about your condition. This will enable them to offer you help if needed.

stop a bus

Getting off a bus

Next stop information is displayed on the information screens and announced on all of our buses. When your stop is displayed and announced, please press the bell once and in good time. This lets the driver know you intend to get off.

Some of our buses are fitted with hearing induction loops to help people with hearing impairments communicate with the driver.

Closed bus stops 

We sometimes have to close bus stops due to roadworks, marches and sporting events. When a bus stop is closed, a yellow cover is placed over the sign at the stop and some stops will have information about where to go to catch your bus.

A message informing you a stop is closed will be displayed on the information screens on the bus and announcements will be made. You will also be informed if the bus is going to be diverted. Speak to the driver when the bus is stationary if you require more information.

Travelling to school

Current bus service arrangements are similar to those of the autumn 2020 term. This means:

  • Extra services on some routes, with some adjustments to services that ran last year to reflect demand
  • Up to half of buses on certain higher-frequency routes signed as 'school services' (generally between 07:30 and 09:00 and 14:30 and 16:30) 
  • A full service on our existing schoolday-only routes (routes generally numbered 600-699)

Find out more on our Travel guidance for schools page.


Bus Station Controller Offices

Get help with travel advice, route and bus stop information and departure times, report any safety concerns or hand in lost property.

Hammersmith Bus Station (Upper and Lower)
24 hours, 7 days
Broadway Shopping Centre, Hammersmith, Fulham W6 9YE

Stratford Regional Bus Station
24 hour 7 days
Great Eastern Road, Newham E15 1XD

Vauxhall Bus Station
Monday to Friday, 06:30-22:00
Saturday/Sunday, 10:00-18:00
33 Bondway, Lambeth SW8 2LN

Victoria Bus Station
Monday to Sunday, 06:30-22:00
London Terminus Place, Westminster SW1V 1JR

Walthamstow Bus Station
Monday to Sunday, 06:30-22:00
Selborne Road, Waltham Forest E17 7JP

West Croydon Bus Station
Monday to Saturday, 06:30-22:00
Sunday, 10:00-18:00
Station Road, Croydon CR0 2RD