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Ride the bus

How do I get started?

To get started, you can talk to a transit expert at 612-373-3333. Tell the representative where you’re starting and where you want to go. You’ll get personalized trip information, including schedule times and fare information. Ask the representative where to wait for your bus, or just look for the closest bus stop sign on your route.

Be sure to get to the stop five minutes early. When the bus approaches, signal for it to stop. Always check the sign above the windshield for the route number to make sure it’s yours. The sign also will flash some of the major streets and destinations on the route. If the bus is the one you want, just hop on.

You can also use the tools on the home page to see how to do it yourself online or use the Trip Planner.

How much does it cost & how do I pay?

If you have a Go-To Card, Metropass, U-Pass, College Pass or Student Pass, touch it to the Go-To circle on the card reader as you board.

You can also use the Metro Transit mobile app to pay for your fare. 

If you have a SuperSaver, insert it (arrow pointing down) into the reader next to the farebox. Your transfer is automatically built in the card.

Note: You can use a SuperSaver 31-Day Pass on a train as long as it has been activated on a bus. However, you cannot use a SuperSaver Stored Value Card if you transfer from bus to light rail. Get a Go-To Card for an easier way to pay your fare.

If you pay with cash, drop your money in the farebox next to the driver. Fareboxes accept dollar bills, coins or tokens, but change is not available.

On most buses, you pay when you get on. However, on many express buses leaving downtown during afternoon rush hours, you pay as you leave.

The same fares are charged for buses and METRO lines and vary by time of day and type of service.

On many express buses leaving downtown or the University of Minnesota during afternoon rush hours, you pay as you leave.

Pass / Go-To Card options

How do I transfer?

On some trips, you may have to take more than one bus or train to get where you're going. If you pay in cash, ask the bus driver for a transfer. It’s free and good for unlimited rides for up to 2½ hours.

If you pay with a Go-To Card, Metropass, U-Pass, College Pass or Student Pass, you can transfer to any bus or to light rail for 2½ hours. Your transfer is built into the card – just make sure to touch your card to the reader on the bus as you board or to the card reader on the station platform before boarding METRO lines.

Tickets purchased using the Metro Transit mobile app can be used to transfer to any bus or light rail for 2½ hours. Just show your active ticket to the driver as you board. 

If you pay with a SuperSaver 31-Day Pass or Stored Value Card, your transfer to another bus is also built in. However, you cannot use a SuperSaver Stored Value Card if you're transferring to the train. Get a Go-To Card, which has a transfer built into your card.

Transfers from Northstar trains to buses and light rail are free. Transfers from buses and light rail to Northstar require an additional fare.

NOTE: Transfers are not available with Downtown Zone fares.

What are the rules when riding the bus?

When you’re ready to get off the bus, just pull the cord above the window to signal the driver. Signal about a block before your stop.

If you’re traveling with children, make sure they stay seated for the whole trip. Children left in strollers should be secured with the stroller seat belt with the brakes set. Parents must remain with the child. Strollers must not block the aisles or doorways. Don’t smoke (including e-cigarettes), eat or listen to electronics without headphones. Finally, the aisle-facing seats in front are for seniors or riders with special needs. If the bus is full, please give your seat to a senior or a person with disabilities.

Read our Code of Conduct

What items can I bring & how do I store them?

These items are allowed on the bus:

  • Wheelchairs/walkers
  • Strollers – Children left in strollers should be secured with the stroller seat belt and a parent must remain with the child. The stroller’s brakes must be set. Strollers must not block the aisles or doorways. 
  • Personal scooters – fold them up and store them under a seat while riding.
  • Non-motorized bicycles – up to the discretion of the driver, based on capacity
  • Suitcases

These items are NOT allowed:

  • Food
  • Beverages in uncovered containers
  • Alcohol