As the city and tourism across Scotland starts to reopen we caught up with Glasgow’s famous red bus – Glasgow City Sightseeing to find out about their reopening plans ahead of Friday, 17th July.
They’ve set their wheels in motion to get back to business.
How has COVID affected your business?
Like most businesses up and down the country, Coronavirus completely shut down our City Sightseeing business. We would normally be operating a 10-minute frequency, seven days a week.
Have you implemented any changes to get reopened?
Absolutely. We have taken guidance from the Scottish Government Transport Transition Plan and have introduced a host of new measures to keep our customers safe. These include; increased deep cleaning programmes, plastic divider screens for drivers, on bus hand sanitisers, carefully managed seating arrangements, encouraging online bookings and contactless payments. Face coverings are also mandatory onboard our buses, ensuring a COVID-safe and comfortable space.
What can customers expect when you reopen?
A fantastic tour of our city, with some new safety measures in place to keep everyone comfortable.
Have you had to change your routes or operating schedule?
Our tour itself hasn’t changed much and still does what it says on the tin, showing people the best of Glasgow. There have been a few tweaks to the tour due to parts of the city being pedestrianised. We have a new home on George Square, outside Costa Coffee and with Kelvin Way being pedestrianised we have a new stop outside The Old Schoolhouse, Woodlands Rd ensuring easy access to Kelvingrove Park.
As we step out on Friday 17 July it will be with a much smaller team. We will operate hourly Friday to Monday 0930 to 1630 in July. The plan is to increase to daily in August and hopefully increase frequency to half-hourly demand. We will have live guides on all buses.
Any lockdown highs for your staff?
Across the full business, we’ve seen the arrival of new babies, engagements and of-course a number of budding cake makers.
What’s the new operating capacity of your buses?
Following the welcomed decision by the Scottish Government to reduced physical distance on public transport we can now operate at 50-60% of capacity. This can be between 25 -35 customers.
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
I would strongly encourage every Glaswegian to at least spend one day as a tourist in our amazing city – it’s full of wonder!