Brave the bus with this step-by-step guide

University of Leeds
3 min readSep 25, 2023


If you’re new to Leeds or haven’t taken the bus before, you may have a few questions about public transport. How do I plan my route? How do I buy my ticket? Why won’t the bus stop for me?!? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to brave the bus in Leeds.

Green First Bus bus driving towards Headingley on a teal-tinged photograph of Woodhouse Lane with a white cartoon-like outline and animation lines
  1. Download travel apps

Google Maps and First Bus are great helpers when scheduling your commute to campus.

Search your destination for:

  • bus schedules with live updates
  • your nearest bus stop
  • where to get off

Download the apps by clicking the links below:

Google Maps for iPhone

Google Maps for Android

First Bus for iPhone

First Bus for Android

2. Plan ahead

Before you go, know when you need to catch the bus. It may be that you have a 9am lecture, but the only bus will get you there at 8.40am. Don’t leave it until the last minute to plan!

Delays are also common in rush hour traffic so get an earlier bus to give yourself plenty of time. It’s also a good idea to get to the bus stop a couple of minutes before your bus is scheduled as it may turn up earlier (or later) than expected. You don’t want to be running for the bus!

3. Find your stop

All bus stops in Leeds have a name and an information board that shows which services stop there. Make sure you see your bus number on the board and check that it’s going in the right direction. If you see your bus but don’t recognise its destination, you probably need to go to the stop on the other side of the road to go the other way.

If you’re still unsure, ask the bus driver to double check you’re on the right bus!

4. Get your ticket

If you’re taking the bus most days, consider a Bus Pass to save time and money.

Lots of buses in Leeds offer reduced rates for students, but you will need to show your student ID so keep it with you.

If you want to be even more prepared, pre-buy your ticket through First Bus to access exclusive discounts and cut out the stress of asking your driver for a ticket.

You can also just buy a ticket when you get on but be sure to have some cash to hand just in case the bus doesn’t take card!

5. Remember the rules!

  • Hold out your arm when your bus arrives so the driver knows to stop for you.
  • There are priority seats at the front of the bus for those who may need them such as elderly, disabled, and pregnant people. Don’t sit in these seats if you don’t need to and be prepared to move if someone needs a seat more than you!
  • Push the ‘stop’ button when your destination is coming up to make sure the driver stops for you. Some buses have announcements but it’s good to keep an eye on where you are.
  • The bus can be a bit of a sensory nightmare. If you feel it may be overwhelming, bring some noise cancelling headphones or a fidget device.

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