Commuters will only be able to board every other bus on some rush-hour routes in London to give school pupils priority, it has been announced.
From 1 September, Transport for London (TfL) will add 230 dedicated school buses to the busiest school routes.
All children aged 11 or older, have to wear face coverings on public transport.
“We need everyone to do their bit to ensure children can safely return to school,” a TfL spokesman said.
Pre-pandemic, around 250,000 school children used London’s buses daily to get to and from school.
More than 220 high-frequency routes that serve schools will have designated “school services”.
‘Use bikes or walk’
The dedicated school buses can be filled to capacity, but limits remain on regular services, said TfL.
Some existing regular buses will be converted into school services, which will run on weekdays between 07.30 to 09.30 BST, and 14.30 to 16.30.
Commuters are warned to expect increased waiting times during these periods.
TfL is also encouraging walking, cycling or other ways of getting to school, to reduce pressure on roads.
A start date for the temporary suspension of under-18 free travel, agreed as part of the TfL bailout, has not yet been confirmed.
Gareth Powell, TfL’s managing director of surface transport, said: “Changes on this scale have never been made to the bus network before.
“It will greatly help if people can travel outside the peaks or walk, cycle or scoot wherever they can.
“September is always a challenge on the bus network and, given the circumstances, customers may need to wait a bit longer to board buses.”