Frequently Asked Questions

About Ember

Who's behind Ember?

Ember was started by Keith and Pierce in 2019 as the world's first all-electric intercity bus operator. By using electric vehicles, we can reduce our impact on the planet whilst also offering a better customer experience. We're based in Edinburgh and have a local office in Dundee.

Why use electric vehicles?

The transition to electric vehicles is essential to combating global warming. Our buses can go up to 200 miles on a single charge and we charge them multiple times per day. This allows them to travel almost 200,000 miles per year. By using the buses this intensively, we keep lifetime emissions (including manufacturing the vehicle) to a tiny fraction of a diesel equivalent.

Our buses use LFP batteries which are cobalt free. We're looking to reuse the batteries once they have lost capacity, for instance using them as grid storage to help balance out demand for renewable energy.

Onboard Experience

What are your buses like?

We use brand new, all-electric buses. They're the first electric buses in the UK to be used on an intercity service. Running on electricity means they're better for the environment and also much quieter, with no annoying engine rumble or rattles. Inside we've kitted them out with comfortable seats, extra leg-room and individual air conditioning.

Do you have Wi-Fi?

Yes, we offer free Wi-Fi and there's good signal along the route. Our Wi-Fi is 5G which means it's super fast where there's coverage (currently in Edinburgh, Glasgow and parts of Dundee).

Can I charge my phone?

Yes, we have USB points at every seat. We'll also try to carry a few common charging cables which you can borrow if you don't have yours. Just ask the driver when you get on board. We don't currently have any three pin plugs but are looking to introduce them in the future.

How much luggage can I bring?

You can bring either two medium bags or one large suitcase without a problem. You can also bring an additional small bag that will fit under your seat or in the overhead rack. If you are planning to bring more than this, it's best to email ride@ember.to to check that there will be room. Otherwise, we can't guarantee there will be space on busy services (but we will always do our best to carry it).

Can I reserve a seat for my musical instrument?

Large instruments, such as a cello, can travel on a seat provided a child fare ticket is booked for them. They can sit on the seat or on the floor in front of the seat, upright or at an angle. The instrument and case combined must be less than 95kg and fit within the seat width of 45cm. You'll need to secure the instrument with the seatbelt at the window seat, and sit next to it. Ultimately, safety is our priority so if the driver isn't satisfied your instrument can be safely secured we will have to place it in the hold.

Can I bring my bike onboard?

Yes, we love cycling. You can reserve a bike space whilst booking your ticket. We'll either carry your bike on board in the wheelchair space if there are no wheelchair users on board, or underneath in the hold. Note that we can't guarantee your bike will be carried upright and it is carried at your own risk (but we've carried hundreds of bikes without incident).

Note that wheelchair users always take priority over bikes in the wheelchair space. This may mean moving your bike if a wheelchair user turns up at an intermediate stop. There should be plenty of space underneath for two bikes (our maximum capacity) but if there are any issues with space, the wheelchair user will have priority and we'll work to find you an alternative solution.

We'd appreciate if your bike is clean but we have some bike bags onboard which you can use if it's a bit mucky. Folding bikes don't need to be booked, just turn up and get on. If you have a particularly large bike (e.g. a tandem), it's best to get in touch with us before booking to make sure it will fit.

Do you allow dogs?

Yes, dogs (and other small animals) are welcome on board so long as they're well behaved and don't disturb other passengers. Dogs should either sit on your lap or on the floor. All guide, hearing and assistance dogs are welcome but should be kept under control.

Do you have a wheelchair space?

Yes, we have a dedicated wheelchair space accessed via a lift at the centre doors. You can reserve a space whilst booking your ticket and we don't need any advance notice, you can book right up until the bus is leaving. If you haven't reserved a space then we'll happily let you on subject to the wheelchair space being available for your whole journey - the driver will be able to confirm this.

If you would prefer to sit in a bus seat then you don't need to book a wheelchair space in advance and your wheelchair can go in the hold.

Tickets

Can I use my bus pass?

Yes. People with a Scottish bus pass can travel free with Ember. Bus passes are available for people aged 5 - 21 or over 60, or those with disabilities. You can book online for free as a concession, then tap your bus pass when you get on board. If your card has the companion symbol, you may take a companion free of charge. Companions should be booked as an additional concession.

Can I buy a ticket onboard?

You can buy a ticket onboard except at pre-booked only stops, but it's £2 cheaper (per adult ticket) to book online. This applies no matter whether you book a month ahead or just a few seconds before. We don't accept cash onboard so you'll need a card (or a phone with contactless payment).

You need to book online at least 10 minutes before for pre-booked stops, otherwise the bus will not call there. This covers most of our intermediate stops. If you're unable to book online you can call us on +44 (0)131 510 4007 and we'll ask the driver to stop there so you can buy on board. Make sure to phone within office hours (9am - 6pm, seven days a week).

Do I need to print my ticket?

No, you can just show your ticket on your phone. Don't worry if your phone runs out of battery – just give the driver the name on the booking and they'll look it up. We also have USB points at every seat so you can charge up again.

Are there any discounts for children?

Absolutely. Children under five can travel for free. In addition, National Entitlement Cards, which entitle you to free travel, are available to anyone in Scotland aged 5 - 21 (apply for a card here). If you are 5 - 18 but don't have a bus pass, you can also get a half price child ticket.

Can I change or cancel my ticket?

Yes. You can cancel any ticket you buy online for a full refund. We'll credit the refund to your account and you can use this to buy another ticket at any point. Email us at ride@ember.to if you would like us to refund the account credit to your payment card or bank account.

Route

Where do you stop?

We operate two routes – one from Dundee to Glasgow and one from Dundee to Edinburgh – with multiple stops along the way. All stops are shown on our live map (you can also track your bus here).

Most of out stops are demand responsive which means they must be booked at least 10 minutes before the scheduled departure time. The bus will only call in if someone has a booking. Demand responsive stops keep journeys fast whilst ensuring we're able to serve even small villages along the way. You'll see which stops require a booking when searching for a ticket.

How do connections to Edinburgh Airport work?

You can buy a through ticket to the airport, which includes the two minute tram ride from our nearest stop at Ingliston Park & Ride. You just need to show your Ember ticket to the airport to the tram conductor. Trams stop around midnight so if you're travelling on our latest service you won't be able to book a through ticket to the airport. Instead, you can book to/from Ingliston Park & Ride and then take a taxi (about £3-5) or bus for the final hop.

Can I get on or off at a different stop to my booking?

If you decide to get on or off at a different stop compared to your booking, it's best to cancel and rebook. This ensures the driver knows to expect you and it can save you money. It's particularly important to do this at any of the pre-booked stops shown on our live map – if you don't have a booking from that location then the bus will not pull in and stop.