How do I ride a bus? Part 5: Swift, RapidRide, Bus Rapid Transit

Monday, June 17, 2013

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

Part 5
By Brian Doennebrink

What about riding Swift or Rapid Ride, or Bus Rapid Transit?

There are some differences between riding a non-Bus Rapid Transit bus (most buses), Swift Bus Rapid Transit (operated by Community Transit, traveling between Aurora Village and Everett Station), and King County Metro’s RapidRide. The latter two run more frequently, from every 10-20 minutes, depending on the time of day or day of the week.



For riding Swift Bus Rapid Transit, payment is made by tapping one’s ORCA card at the ORCA card reader at the station or, using cash or Visa or Mastercard, using Ticket Vending Machines at the station. Tip: give yourself a couple of minutes of extra time if using the TVMs!

For RapidRide, payment is made by ORCA card if there’s an ORCA card reader at the station, or on the ORCA card reader that’s on the bus. Cash payment or transfer slips are also accepted on the bus.


For riders of Swift Bus Rapid Transit, the bus stops at every station, leaving within 10 seconds. Disabled riders have a means of indicating where they’re deboarding the bus.

For RapidRide, when a rider pulls the cord that is at the top of the windows or pushes a button, typically on a pole, the bus will stop at the next stop.


Swift Bus Rapid Transit buses offer a self-serve option for wheelchair passengers to strap themselves in as well as the driver-assisted option.

RapidRide riders have the same options on most coaches.

Riders with bicycles roll their bicycles onto the Swift bus through the back/third door of the bus, where there are spots for three bicycles (additional bicycles at driver’s option).

Riders with bicycles on RapidRide load and unload their bicycles at the front of the bus.

Other articles in the How to Ride a Bus series:


Other articles by Brian Doennebrink on Public Transit Choices can be found on the front page under Features.


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