How to ride Community Transit buses

Community Transit helps people get from where they are to where they want to be, throughout Snohomish County.

With our convenient schedules and reliable service, riding the bus can be easy, affordable and fun. Read on for our best tips for planning your trip and riding the bus. For those who need extra help learning to ride the bus, we also offer complimentary Travel Training.

Riders checking routes before boarding the bus

Plan your trip

Check out our trip-planning tools to help you map different parts of your ride with us.

If you don’t have internet access or need help on the go, you can also call (425) 353-RIDE to get help with trip planning or answers to any questions you might have.

Use Plan My Trip to map your route
  • Enter where you need to go and get a trip plan complete with information on bus routes, stops and fares.
  • If there are no routes within walking distance, consider beginning your trip with us at one of our many park & rides.
Use Find My Bus during your trip

Latest information with real-time location
GPS data is constantly being updated so you have the latest information with real-time location data.

Easy to find and flexible search options
Search by bus stop, route, address, intersection, location name, or use your device’s current location to find stops near you.

Get the updates you need
View Rider Alerts, stops, and bus locations specific to your route.

Save your favorites
Get easy access to information related to your frequent routes, stops and locations.

Sign up for Rider Alerts

Sign up to receive rider alerts and you’ll always have the latest route information.

Subscribe to free electronic alerts by email and/or texts
Rider uses ORCA card to board a Community Transit bus

Before you go

Time for your trip? Plan to arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes early. And make sure you have everything you need, including a way to pay for your bus trip.

Have your fare ready

Bus prices vary by route and discounted rates are available for those who qualify. Learn more about fares and passes.

We recommend paying for your bus trip with an ORCA card. It’s a quick and contact-free way to pay — you just tap your card and go. You can also pay with cash using exact change.

Ride safely

Your safety and security are our priority. Help protect yourself and others by reporting any problems to your driver or authorities. Please stay on pedestrian paths, use marked crosswalks, and stay home if you are sick. 

Young man with a skateboard enters a Community Transit bus

Ready to ride?

They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. We've broken down all the parts of your ride into steps to help you feel prepared and confident throughout your ride. 

At the bus stop

Every Community Transit bus stop has a sign listing the bus routes that serve that stop and a poster with the bus schedules. 

Swift bus stations and most transit centers also have electronic signs that tell you when the next bus will arrive.

Every Community Transit bus is equipped with a wheelchair lift or ramp. All buses have bike racks. Let the driver know if you need help boarding or if you have questions about the bike rack.

When the bus arrives

As the bus approaches, check the lighted sign on the front of the bus to see if the route information matches your trip.

If this is your bus, wave to let the driver know that you want to get on. Stand back from the bus and wait until it comes to a complete stop.

If the lighted bus sign says “Drop-off only,” that bus is full and not able to pick up more passengers. Please wait for the next bus.

Paying your fare

If your trip includes multiple buses, paying with an ORCA card will save you money. You will tap your ORCA card for each bus you ride within the same trip, but you’ll only be charged for the bus with the highest fare. With cash, you’ll need to pay for each bus on your trip.

When and where you pay for the bus will depend on the bus route.

  • If you are taking a numbered route, you’ll pay on the bus as you enter.
  • If you are taking a Swift Bus line, like Swift Blue or Swift Green, you’ll pay at the station before you board the bus.
Riding the bus

Help us make riding the bus a good experience for everyone by following these simple guidelines:

  • Please follow all signs on the bus when choosing your seating. Priority seating at the front is for people with disabilities, the elderly, and those with infants in strollers.
  • Keep the aisle clear so that other passengers can safely move about.
  • Listen to music and other entertainment using headphones.
  • Please do not eat or drink on the bus.
Getting off at your stop

As you ride, pay attention to the announcements and the sign at the front that give information on the next stop.

Do I need to signal for the bus to stop?
  • On our numbered bus routes, you will need to signal that you would like to get off at the next stop. When you are about a block away from your stop, pull the cord on the window or press the red stop button located near seats and exits.
  • On our Swift bus lines, like Swift Blue and Swift Green, the bus will stop at every station, so you don’t need to signal the driver.

Once the bus comes to a complete stop, you may exit through the rear door. Please wait for the bus to leave the area before crossing the street.

Transferring to another bus or train

If your trip includes multiple buses or trains within the regional ORCA system, your ORCA Card will save you money. You will tap your ORCA card for each bus or train you ride within the same trip, but you’ll only be charged for the one with the highest fare. ORCA transfers are valid for two hours after you first tap your card.

  • With cash, you’ll need to pay for each bus on your trip. Please use exact change when paying with cash. 
  • Transfers using Swift tickets are valid on Swift buses for up to 90 minutes after purchase. Swift tickets cannot be used on non-Swift buses.
  • Paper transfers are not issued or accepted by Community Transit.