Posts tagged ‘Madison Metro Transit’

Bus Riding Instructions

I didn’t get my license until I was 22-years-old, and proceeded to total my first car two weeks after acquiring my license. Before that happy incident, I rode and relied on buses in New York, Minneapolis, Madison, Hong Kong, even Costa Rica! If Costa Rican buses got me where I needed to go, then Madison’s system is a sinch. And honestly, for a small city, Madison has a great system.

Still, I’ve heard time and again that riding the city bus is intimidating, difficult, or just too much work. I’m here to assure you that it is not, and that if you pick up a bus map today, you may be surprised to find a route that takes you directly to work!

Here we go, a step by step on how to take the bus, and tips on how to avoid uncomfortable situations.

How to Ride (in Madison)

1. Find Your Route. Look at the system map, locate where you are, where you want to go, and see if a bus line runs in that direction. Be sure to distinguish between the Week-Day Maps and the Week-End Maps. They may change!

2. Check Your Schedule. Once you’ve determined the Route Number (Ex: Bus #2), then you can check the Online Ride Guide (click on the bus number). Find when you wish to arrive at your destination, and trace back to your starting location to see when you’ll have to catch the bus. If you’re confused about how to read the guide, Madison’s Metro Transit provides helpful details. Just click the link above (“Check Your Schedule”). Make sure you’re heading the right direction! *HINT: The guide reads from left to right.*

3. Prepare Your Fare. If you’re paying with cash, it is $2.00 for Adults, $1.25 for Youth 5-17, $1.00 for Disabled/Seniors, and free for children 4 and under. Otherwise, buy a transit card at a slight discount. Campus buses are free, courtesy of student segregated fees.

4. Catch That Bus! Chances are that your bus stop is just a block away. Find the blue sign with bus numbers listed, or a bus shelter. Metro Transit also provides tips on where to wait.

Other FAQ

Q: How do I get off?
A: Pull the yellow cord above the windows. Pull one block away from your intended drop-off point. The loudspeaker/marquee at the front will prompt you; once you hear or see your intersection, you can pull. Otherwise, ask the bus driver to signal you if you are unfamiliar with the area. Leave out the back door. A green light will flash on, which signals that you can exit by pushing on the handles.

Q: What if I need a transfer?
A: Ask the bus driver! (S)he’ll print one out for you, then grab it and keep it safe. You can feed it into the same slot to use it on the next bus. It is good for a free ride within 2 hours.

Q: What if I have a bike? How do you use the bike rack?
A: First, stay calm. I had a friend once who couldn’t figure out how to use the bike rack attached to the front of the bus for 5 minutes, freaked out and ended up not taking the bus. The bus driver may not come off to help you, but there are 3 simple instructions written on the equipment, and it is actually quite easy! Metro Transit offers a step-by-step and a video(!) on how to place your bike on a rack, so you won’t end up like my friend.

Q: I’m a business-owner interested in my employees’ commuting options. Is there something for me?
A: Metro Transit is offering a new Commuter Card in 2010 for small businesses, non-profit groups and schools to provide your members with another commuting option at a discounted rate. It makes a great benefit!

Happy riding! Let us know if you have any other questions.
– Isabella

November 23, 2009 at 12:14 pm 1 comment


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