READING BUSES says it is ready to welcome customers as covid restrictions change on Monday.
The company, which runs services in Woodley, Wokingham, Shinfield and outlying areas, will allow all forward-facing seats to be used to ensure it has capacity to meet demand.
Rear-facing seats should not be used except by household bubbles and standing on board would still not be allowed to help minimise face to face contact which has the highest risk of spreading the virus.
“We are running a full timetable and have plenty of capacity to get people to where they need to go,” Reading Buses’ chief executive officer Robert Williams said.
“We will continue adding extra buses if we find any regular occasions where one metre social distancing can’t be maintained.
“We expect the reopening of indoor entertainment will lead to another increase in customer numbers on our buses.”
And the company, which also runs Thames Valley Buses – the new name for Courtney Buses – is looking forward to passengers returning.
“We can’t wait to welcome back people who may not have travelled with us in over a year. We can assure them we have been doing all we can to keep customers and employees safe and connected during the pandemic,” Mr Williams said.
The company has an enhanced clearing regime and offers hand sanitiser on all buses. Windows will be opened to ensure ventilation is possible, and face coverings must be worn unless passengers have an exemption.
“With all the measures in place on buses, the risk of catching the virus is extremely low – especially with the large percentage of vaccinated customers added into the mix,” Mr Williams said.
“Travelling on the bus will probably be safer than when you arrive at your destination and are sat across a table from your friend inside a café, pub or restaurant without a face covering on.”
The company has also pledged to monitor demand and react accordingly.
“We also hope to offer a route-by-route guide to highlight the best times to travel for those who are able to be more flexible,” he said.