Lothian Buses Travel Information

Scotland's best bus operator

Lothian Regional Transport or in short, Lothian Buses, is Edinburgh's resident bus operator, still municipally-owned. They have been voted 'Best UK Bus Company' in 2002 and 2003 and their buses and service still stick in my mind as the best I've ever experienced.

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Lothian Buses cover virtually all of Edinburgh but you can also travel up to 10 miles beyond the City boundaries to Cramond, Penicuik and Musselburgh.

Buses

Most Lothian Buses are double deckers with a capacity of over 150 passengers. I recommend that you sit upstairs and enjoy the views as you travel through Edinburgh and, at the same time, avoid the crowd that might be downstairs.

Most double decker buses are fairly new with brand new buses being introduced every couple of years, at least on some of the high traffic routes. There are still some 10-15 year old buses going to some parts of the city but they are still in very good working order.

The bus seats are comfortable to sit on and newer buses even have tartan-like fabric covering the seats. The bus windows are big, although not squeaky clean.

The buses are generally clean although you occasionally find empty plastic bottles on the floor or used papers and tickets, mostly at the end of the day. There are also CCTV cameras monitoring the activity both upstairs and downstairs for passengers' safety.

Bus service

Lothian Buses start running very early in the morning and continue trough the evening until midnight. After midnight there are a series of Night Buses you can use to get to your accommodation after a night out in Edinburgh. Some Night Buses also go beyond city boundaries to places like Penicuik.

Night Buses leave from Waverley Steps -- just outside the train station and Tourist Information Centre. Day tickets cannot be used on Night Buses and a standard fare of £2 must be paid. Certainly much cheaper than any taxi.

Bus services in Edinburgh itself are very frequent and on some routes -- like to the Ocean Terminal in Leith or to the Zoo -- there's one every five minutes. After 7pm the buses become fewer and farther in between but there should be at least one every 25 minutes.

There is a timetable published at every stop and while not 100% accurate, they are a good reference when you want to travel around.

At every bus stop there is also other travel information such as route details, information about tickets and also contact information for Lothian Buses.

Tickets - Cost of Travel

Lothian Buses tickets are very good value for money in terms of how you can use them for travel. You can buy single tickets for each journey but you can save a lot by buying a Day Ticket.

  • The Day Ticket costs £2.50 if you buy it before 9:30am or £2.00 after 9:30am or anytime on Saturday and Sunday.
  • You can use the bus ticket to travel all day on any Lothian Bus as many times as you like.

Just buy your tickets from the driver when you board the first Lothian Bus. You must have correct fare money ready because you don't get change on buses in Edinburgh.

Next time you travel on a Lothian Bus simply unfold the ticket and show it to the driver. The day tickets are not available on the Airlink, Night Buses or Tour buses.

Timetable guides

You can get timetables guides and tickets for any Lothian Bus route in Edinburgh. Get one for each route from any of the Hanover Street, Waverley Bridge or Shandwick Place travel shops, all very close to Princes Street. If you need to get to a certain place and are unsure which bus to take, simply ask the staff at the travel shop.

Edinburgh's airport bus

There is a frequent airport bus that takes you to Waverley Bridge, in the heart of Edinburgh. A single ticket on the Airlink bus to or from the Edinburgh International Airport costs £3 while an open return costs £5.

The airport buses are blue and very comfortable and clean. On the top decker they have facing seats separated by tables and free Metro papers are available, mostly in the morning.

Travelling with Lothian Buses - Web links

Travel shops location map
Map on Lothian Buses website pinpointing the location of their travel shops on Hanover Street, Waverley Bridge and Shandwick Place.

Bus route finding map
A Flash map highlighting every Lothian Buses route. Click on the map to obtain timetables for buses.

Night buses map [pdf]
Map of Lothian's night bus routes.

Edinburgh airport bus
Airlink website with info on travelling by bus to and from Edinburgh International Airport..

Lothian Buses Contact details

Website: Lothian Buses
Address: Annandale Street, Edinburgh, EH7 4AZ, Scotland
Infoline: +44 0131 555 6363

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