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Metro Transit Buses in Minneapolis & St. Paul: Riding the Bus in the Twin Cities

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Green bus in Minneapolis

Green bus in Minneapolis

Clara James

Where and When Metro Transit Buses Run:

Metro Transit operates buses in the Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the Twin Cities' metro area.

Downtown Minneapolis and Downtown St. Paul are transit hubs. Most routes pass through or terminate in one or both of the downtowns.

Metro Transit has an interactive map of all of the bus routes it operates.

Bus schedules are available on the Metro Transit website.

Schedules and real-time transit information - such as if your bus is late - can be had via automated phone service: 612-373-3333.

Metro Transit has an online trip planner to work out the best route between two places, and displays the times the buses arrive at the stops.

How to Ride the Bus:

You've found your route, and know what time your bus is. Arrive at the bus stop a few minutes early. Metro Transit buses usually run on time, so it's wise to be punctual too.

When the bus approaches, signal it to stop. Climb aboard and, pay your fare.

Drivers announce major intersections and where the bus connects with other routes. When you are approaching your destination, ring the bell to signal the driver to stop. The driver will stop the bus at the next stop.

How to Pay the Fare:

The standard fare is $1.50. The fare increases during Metro Transit's rush hour. Discounts are given for children, seniors, students, Medicare card holders, and people with disabilities. There is a reduced fare for short trips within Minneapolis and St. Paul's downtown zones.

Buses accept cash, coins and notes, but no change can be given.

Metro Transit offers several passes: SuperSaver Stored Value Cards, 31-Day Passes, Go-To Cards, Metropasses, Day Passes, Six-Hour Passes, U-Passes and Go-To College Passes, all of which can be used to pay the bus fare on any Metro Transit bus or train.

How Transfers Work:

If you will be making another journey by bus or train in the next 2 1/2 hours, ask the driver for a transfer when you pay your fare.

Transfers are free, and can be used an unlimited number of times on any Metro Transit bus or train within the 2 1/2 hours.

They are intended for journeys which need more than one bus, and short return trips.

How "Go-To Cards" Work:

Go-To Cards are reusable fare cards. They are plastic credit-sized cards with an embedded microchip. Once money is added to the card, it can be used on any bus or train.

On boarding the bus, touching the card to the Go-To Card reader automatically deducts the correct fare, and embeds a transfer.

The advantages of the Go-To Card are faster boarding, no need to carry money for fares, and best of all, Metro Transit adds $1 for every $10 added to the card.

Ordering the Go-To Card: The card can be obtained online, at a Metro Transit store, or ordered by mail.

People with Disabilities:

All Metro Transit buses are wheelchair accessible.

Buses have a ramp which extends from the front doors for wheelchairs, and people who have difficulty using the steps. If you have difficulty with stairs, let the driver know you need the lift.

Bus drivers are trained in operating the lift, and in securing wheelchairs safely on the bus.

Metro Mobility is a special door-through-door transportation service for people with disabilities. Metro Mobility operates in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and some adjoining suburbs. For more information, telephone Metro Mobility at 651-602-1111, or TTY 651-291-0904.

Park and Ride:

The bus service in the Twin Cities' suburbs is not as concentrated as in Minneapolis and St. Paul. To assist commuters, there are about 100 Park and Ride parking lots distributed around the Twin Cities' metro area.

Parking in Metro Transit's Park and Ride lots is free. No overnight parking is permitted.

Bicycles and Buses:

Metro Transit encourages cyclists to use their buses and trains.

All metro transit buses have a bike rack on the front. This is to encourage you to secure it properly, as the bike will be run over by the bus if it falls off.

There is no extra charge for using the bike racks. Tell the driver you will be unloading a bike as you get off the bus. You don't want to be run over either!

Several park and ride locations, light rail stations, and places in Minneapolis and St. Paul's downtowns, have bike lockers to park and ride with your bike, or store it securly. The lockers have an annual fee.

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