If you’re new to riding the bus for work or to run errands, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.

Luckily there are many tools (and people) that will help make your bus trip easy and enjoyable!

How to Ride the Bus: A New User Guide

  1. Find Your Route

    • Put where you want to go and when you want to arrive into the Metro Trip Planner or Google Maps to quickly and easily see your route options
    • Pay attention to the side of the road you need to catch your bus to ensure you're going the right direction.  
      • The readerboard along the top of the bus tells you the final destination of that bus.  
      • When in doubt-ask the driver or another rider!  
  2. At the Bus Stop or Park & Ride

    • Route numbers are along the top of the bus to make your bus easily identifiable.  
    • Bus stop signs will list which routes serve that stop so you know where to wait.
    • Timetables will show you the estimated arrival times from different stops on your route.  You can get printed timetables, or look them up online.
      • One Bus Away is a free smart phone app shows real time arrival information of buses at your stop.
  3. Pay for Your Trip On Entry

    • Cash: Bring exact change, the driver won't be able to make change.
    • Tap your ORCA* card bus pass against the card reader as you get on the bus.
  4. Request Your Stop

    • The driver announces upcoming stops and they will be displayed on the readerboard inside the bus.
    • When your stop is next, pull the yellow cable near the window, or push the red "stop" button on the edge of some seats.
      • If you're on the aisle, you can ask your seatmate to request the stop for you. 
      • This will let the driver know you want to stop, a red light will come on over the center aisle when a stop has been requested.

When in doubt, you can ask the driver or other riders for help!

Bus Etiquette Tips:

  • Have your fare or ORCA card ready to make boarding quick for everyone.
  • Unless you need the handicap ramp, please exit to the rear of the bus at busy stops.  If the back door doesn't open a polite "Back door please!" will get the drivers attention.
  • When the bus is full, hold your purse, backpacks, and other personal belongings in your lap.
  • Wear headphones when listening to music, and listen at a low volume.
  • Leave front seats open for families, older adults, and those in wheelchairs. 
  • Please refrain from eating or drinking on the bus.
*ORCA stands for "One Regional Card for All" and is accepted on Community Transit, Everett Transit, King County Metro Transit, Kitsap Transit, Pierce Transit, Sound Transit and Washington State Ferries.