How to catch one of Nottingham’s buses #CTBM

Passengers on a bus, with the Catch the Bus Month logo

If you’ve never caught one of Nottingham’s buses before, we’ve created a simple guide on how to, so that your experience is easy and stress-free.

How to plan your journey

Planning your first trip on Nottingham’s expansive bus network is made easy with a host of journey planning tools. You can find a journey planner on most of our bus operators’ websites, including Nottingham City Transport and trentbarton. Google maps is also a useful tool to use when planning a journey on public transport – it can show you what services stop at your nearby bus stop as well as tell you what services can get you to your destination.

Waiting for the bus

Once you know what bus you want to get, and where you need to catch it from, you’ll need to make your way to the bus stop. Nottingham’s bus stops are handily labelled with their bus stop name and number. You will find the name and number of the stop on both the bus stop shelter (if your bus stop has one) or on the bus stop plate, which you can find at the top of the bus stop pole.

The real time display at your bus stop will help you to know when your bus service is arriving, with a handy countdown feature to the bus’s arrival.

If you want to double check that you’re getting the right bus at the right time, you will find a network map within the bus shelter and service timetables within the timetable case.

Boarding the bus

All of Nottingham’s buses will have the service name/number on the front of the bus as well as the destination. Most of the city’s buses are also easily identified by colour.

When you see your bus service approaching, stick out your hand to let the driver know you want to hop on board. If you’re unsure that you’re getting on the right bus, don’t hesitate to ask the bus driver if their bus is going where you want to – they’ll be more than happy to help.

Once the bus has arrived at the bus stop, the driver will lower the bus so that it is level with the kerb and therefore easier and more accessible to get on board. If you are a wheelchair user, the driver will exit their cab and deploy the ramp.

How to pay for your journey

There are multiple ways to pay for the bus in Nottingham.

  • Cash – all services accept cash. You can find details of cash fares on the operators’ websites
  • Mobile tickets – Nottingham City Transport, trentbarton and CT4N all accept some form of mobile ticket through their mobile apps
  • Smartcard – there are a range of Smartcards available to use on the bus network, including the Robin Hood card range
  • Contactless – Linkbus, Nottingham City Transport, trentbarton and CT4N all accept contactless payments – just hold your debit/credit card or mobile phone onto their readers until it is accepted. You don’t need to ask the driver for a ticket when doing this, as the system will automatically work out the best priced ticket for you. Check your spend here
  • Under 19 and Student tickets – discounted tickets are available to passengers under the age of 19 and students (you will just need to show your student ID to the bus driver)

Robin Hood card on the mobile app

Travelling on the bus

Most of Nottingham’s buses have digital screens on-board to inform you of the next three stops, so you can be rest assured that you won’t miss yours. Some of our buses also have audio “next stop” announcements.

A number of Nottingham’s buses also have free WiFi and USB charging ports, so that you can charge your phone and stay connected.

Getting off the bus

When you are approaching your bus stop, press the “stop” button – usually located on a pole on the end of the seats. The bus driver will then know that you want to get off at the next stop and will approach the stop to allow you to alight safely.

Like when you boarded, the floor of the bus will be lowered upon arrival at the bus stop to make it easier for people to get off.

This September, we are celebrating Catch the Bus Month run by Bus Users UK. If you are a regular bus user, or if this is your first time using the bus, let’s get on board this #CatchtheBusMonth! Click here for more information.