How do I ride a bus? Advice for new riders - Part 1

Saturday, April 27, 2013

You can read on the bus


By Brian Doennebrink

I’ve never – or rarely – ridden a bus…how do I ride a bus?

Here are some suggestions for what you might do in advance of your trip:

Decide all of the destinations that you’d like to go to and when you need to be there at as well as, if a round trip, when you expect to return.

Plan your trip:

  • Use a bus schedule(s) or the online Trip Planner to determine when your bus leaves (future topics in this series). If looking at the schedules online, bookmark their location so that you can easily return to them.
  • Have at least one backup plan, for the instance that your bus doesn’t show – or shows up late (e.g., the driver calls in sick and a replacement isn’t readily available or encounters mechanical issues and/or traffic en route), you can’t find a parking space, your bus goes by before you get there.
Plan how to pay:

  • Decide how much your fare is (online, or in the bus schedule).
  • Decide how you’re going to pay your fare. If you’re paying cash, fareboxes don’t give change, nor do the drivers. If you’re using an ORCA card, you need to purchase an ORCA card first. If you need a reduced-fare ORCA card, you need to get one of those cards first.
Allow for extra time for the unexpected, forgetting something (and going back to get it) to – if walking - encountering a stray animal to challenges finding a parking spot.

Figure out how you are going to get to your bus: walk, bicycle, drive, or ?

Consider a trial run, perhaps on a personal day off (not a recognized holiday) at a similar time of day. Some use Google streetview or Google Maps to “see” what an area looks like from their computer screens.

Perhaps ask an experienced transit commuter ride with you.




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