How to Ride
Riding Omnitrans is easy, and we are always working on ways to make it even easier. The following information guides you through the basics steps of riding, from planning your trip to exiting the bus at your destination, and includes helpful instructional videos. Whether you are a first-time or frequent rider, Omnitrans is dedicated to making your travel easy and enjoyable.
Plan Your Trip
Before you leave home, it’s important to plan your trip and know which Omnitrans route or routes you need to take to get to your destination. You can plan your trip using a variety of convenient resources: you can look up your destination on the Schedules & Maps webpage or in the printed or PDF version of the Bus Book, you can use the online trip planner to the right, or call Omnitrans toll-free at 1-800-9-OMNIBUS (1-800-966-6428) for trip planning assistance. For more information, view the Planning Your Trip video in English or Spanish.
Reading Route Maps & Schedules
The following instructions guide you on how to read Omnitrans route maps and bus schedules.
1. Finding your bus stop: You will find a stop about every two or three blocks along each route. Note that not all bus stops are shown in the Bus Book–there isn’t enough room to show them all. Schedule time points are established at key locations along the route and are shown on the map as letter symbols and relate to times shown on the schedule. Use these to help plan your trip.
2. Confirming the bus arrival time: To determine the time that the bus will arrive at the stop where you’ll begin your trip, first make sure that you are looking at the route schedule for the day of the week that you will be riding. Then, find the time point on the route schedule that is closest to your stop. Directly under the time point on the schedule will be its letter symbol – “A”, for example – which appears on the route map at the location of that intersection. Read the schedule to see what time the bus will stop at that time point, closest to the time that you will be traveling. Check the route map to see how far your stop is from that time point, and then estimate the bus’ arrival time at your stop.
If you have a smartphone or connected mobile device, you can download the free Transit app to plan your trip with step-by-step directions and bus arrival time predictions at your stop.
You can also use NextBus to easily check real time bus arrivals. NexTrip signs at all of our bus stops make it easy for passengers to find bus arrival info by voice, text, web, or by simply scanning a QR code.
3. Confirming the travel time to your destination: To find out how long it will take to get to your destination, read from left to right across the schedule. Start at the time point near where you will begin your trip. Follow the schedule across to the time point listed closest to your destination to find the approximate time that you will arrive.
Go to Your Bus Stop
Omnitrans buses only stop at designated Omnitrans bus stops. Stand at the marked bus stop so the driver knows you want to take the bus. It’s a good idea to get there a few minutes early; if you’re late, the bus can’t wait. Once you’re at the bus stop, watch the bus as it approaches and make sure that the number displayed on its head sign (just above the windshield) matches the number of the route you need to take. Wave to the driver to let him or her know that you’d like to board. For more information, view the Catching the Bus video in English or Spanish.
Have Your Fare Ready
Have exact change for your cash fare or your Omnitrans bus pass out and ready before you board. If you are paying with mobile fare, make sure your pass is activated on your smartphone and ready to be shown to the driver upon boarding.
Board the Bus
Read the route number in the lighted sign above the windshield to make sure you are getting on the correct bus. You can also ask the driver. Enter the bus through front door. If you’re boarding the bus at night, it might be difficult for your driver to see you waiting for the bus. Please try to make yourself more visible by standing at the stop and waving to the approaching bus.
Deposit your fare
As you board the bus, you will see the metal farebox located next to the driver. If you are paying your fare with cash, put your exact cash fare into the farebox. Drivers cannot make change. You can use dollar bills or coins (with the exception of pennies). If you are paying your fare with an Omnitrans bus pass, swipe your bus pass through the card reader on the farebox. If you are a youth, senior, or person with a disability and are riding at a reduced fare, be sure you have the proper identification so the driver can verify your eligibility. View details on reduced fare eligibility requirements. For more information on depositing your fare, view the All About Fares video in English or Spanish. After paying your fare, find a seat. As a courtesy, please reserve the seats at the front for seniors and persons with disabilities.
Signal the driver for your stop
When you are ready to get off the bus at your stop, signal the driver ahead of time by pressing the yellow signal tape, which is the rubber strip along the window, or the red stop button on the handrail. As soon as the bus passes the stop before your destination, press the signal tape or the stop button to alert the driver that you will be getting off at the next stop. For more information on riding and signaling for your stop, view the While You’re Riding video in English or Spanish.
Exit the Bus
Exit the bus from the rear door at the back of the bus, and only step into the stairwell after the bus has stopped. Be sure to move away from the bus once you’ve exited, to give your driver plenty of room to safely re-enter traffic. Don’t forget your belongings.
Omnitrans does not issue paper transfers to its passengers. If you have paid a cash fare and need to change buses to complete your trip, or need to travel past the end of the line on a route, you will have to pay another fare when you board the next bus. Another option is to purchase a day pass, which allows you unlimited travel throughout the Omnitrans system for one day. Regular riders can save even more with a 7-day pass or 31-day pass. See the Transfer Centers page for maps of Omnitrans transfer centers.
Designated service animals are welcome to ride the bus free of charge. Please note that your driver may ask if your animal is a service animal, and what tasks the animal has been trained to perform. You also may be asked to remove your service animal from the bus if 1) the animal’s behavior is out of control, and you do not take effective action to control it; or 2) the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. Pets may only ride the bus if they are in a secure pet carrier that fits on your lap.
Lost & Found
Omnitrans is not responsible items lost or stolen on board or at bus stops, however, if found, Omnitrans makes a reasonable attempt to return items to the rightful owner. If you leave a personal item on the bus, please check with Lost and Found the following business day, at (909) 379-7100, to see if your item has been turned in. You will need to provide a detailed description of the item that was lost, when it was lost, the bus route number, the direction you were traveling, and the time you boarded the bus. Most items are held by Omnitrans for only 10 business days, then discarded or donated to charity.
Travel Training Bus
Omnitrans is the only transit agency to have its own Travel Training bus designed to educate people in new rider basics. Our Travel Training bus includes video screens, a PA system and new fare box. This hands-on training tool will allow people to experience firsthand what they can expect when boarding a bus for the first time and help ease the anxiety that sometimes accompanies new riders. The training bus and outreach trainer are available by request to local community groups of 12 or more people including seniors, students and those with special needs. For more information contact Special Transportation Services staff at (909) 379-7341 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternative Accessibility Formats
Information found on this website can be provided in an alternative format upon request. Please contact ADA Eligibility Staff at 909-379-7284 to speak to a representative or email OmniADA@omnitrans.org. Omnitrans will do its best to provide the requested alternative format within a reasonable time.