How do I ride a bus? - Part 3

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Metro Rapid Ride bus

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

You’ve managed to get to the bus stop or Park / Ride, and – particularly at the latter – you’ll be learning/realizing the nuances of riding the bus (the differences for Bus Rapid Transit, brand named Swift and Rapid Ride, are covered in a different article). 

Here are some ideas:
  • On escalators, stand to the right o to allow those in a hurry to get past.
  • If you’re at a bus stop that’s not at a Park / Ride, drivers usually appreciate it if you flag them down, particularly in dark conditions … not standing in the street, but wearing light clothing and moving about, waving a light-colored magazine or newspaper, redirecting your cell phone towards the bus.
  • Beware: you may also be solicited for bus fare before you board by a would-be rider. The ones who have approached me typically have a cell phone in one hand, a latte in the other.
  • Let anybody who wants to alight/de-board before you board.
  • Use exact fare, drivers don’t give change. Some folks try to get other riders who are already onboard to “give them change.” On Metro buses, if you’re not traveling into Seattle from Shoreline/Lake Forest Park or further north, east or even south (past 145th Street from the north), and:
    • If paying cash, tell your driver. Ask for a transfer.
    • If using an ORCA card, note what the machine is pre-set to; if it’s “Two-Zone” (Metro) or “Two-county” (Sound Transit), before you tap your card, let your driver know that you’re only traveling one zone (Metro) or county (Sound Transit) so that they can re-program the machine for you to tap and get charged the correct/lower fare.

In the next part, we’ll look at "you’ve paid, now what?"

Previous articles in this series


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