Get Ready to Ride

Hi there! Welcome! We are so happy you are here.

You are planning to take the bus for the first time with BC Transit and we cannot wait to welcome you aboard. 

First things first, there are some important things that new transit riders need to know before embarking on their first bus trip. Some of these you will know already, but others of you might not.

Scroll down to read each step to learn more about how to ride with BC Transit. If you are nine and under, we recommend reading the steps with a parent or guardian.

At the end, there is even a quiz to see if you are ready to ride! Complete the training and you will feel more confident than ever for your first trip with BC Transit.

1) Waiting for the Bus

Okay, here we go! The first step is waiting patiently. Waiting can be hard, especially when you are waiting for something as exciting as taking the bus, but you can do it! Below are some things to think about before you go to the bus stop and while you are waiting for the bus:

  • Plan to be at the bus stop at least five minutes before your bus is scheduled to arrive – running late for the bus is stressful and can be dangerous. Even if you do end up running late, always cross the street safely by using the crosswalk.

  • While you are waiting, stay back at least 1 meter from the curb - however, remain visible. If the bus driver cannot see you – they might not stop!

  • If you are alone at the stop, wave to the driver to help them see you, especially if it is a little dark outside.

2) Getting on the Bus

Here it comes! The moment you have been waiting for - you can see the bus approaching the stop. We know you are excited to get on board (we are too!), however, keep the following things in mind before boarding:

Most importantly, make sure it is the correct bus route!

  • Bus stops are often used by more than one bus route. It is important to pay attention because all the buses look similar. Therefore, if you want to end up at the right destination, make sure you are getting on the right bus. To do this, you should check the number and route name on the front and side, of the bus. If it is not the right bus – do not panic! Yours will be on the way shortly.

  • Give the bus driver a wave so they know you want them to stop and are not just standing there.

More tips:

  • Always use the front door to get on the bus – even if the back door is closest to you.

  • Board the bus one at a time. You might be thinking – “I have to rush on board so I can get the best seat!” but trust us, it is safer to slow down and board single file. There are plenty of seats for everyone.

3) Riding the Bus

OK, so far so good. You have made it on the correct bus and you are on your way to your destination. What now? Here are some things to consider during your bus ride:

If you are carrying a large bag or backpack (maybe you are on your way to hockey or on your way to school), try to make sure:

  • Your bag is not bumping into your fellow riders when you walk by. Take your backpack off your back as you board the bus and hold any large bags in front of you until you are seated. If you must stand, keep your backpack/large bag at your feet during the ride.

  • Keep the doorway clear for passengers to enter and exit the bus safely.

4) Seating on the Bus

Where do I sit?

You can stay at the front or move to the back. Whichever one suits you! If a seat is empty, you can sit in it.

  • If you are seated at the front of the bus in the seats facing sideways – they are called Courtesy Seats. They should be given to those who need them most. For example, if you are sitting in a Courtesy Seat and someone comes aboard the bus who uses a wheelchair or scooter, walking support (cane, crutches or walker), has a service dog or is pushing a baby stroller – please give up your seat so they can sit comfortably during the ride! It is the right thing to do.

There are no empty seats - what do I do?

  • Do not worry! You are allowed to stand on the bus – but make sure you are always holding on to a pole or a riding handle so you can keep your balance. Also, for your safety – please stay behind the red and yellow lines.

  • As the bus fills up, move your way to the back of the bus so as many passengers can get on as safely as possible!

5) Asking for Help

I’m feeling uncomfortable, scared or lost and I need some assistance. Who do I go to for help?

  • Your bus driver is always there to support you! If possible, wait until the bus stops and approach the front of the bus to ask the bus driver for their attention. Explain your situation and what you need help with, and they will be happy to assist you! If you cannot wait until the bus stopped, please do not hesitate to ask for help.

6) Getting Off the Bus

Awesome! You have arrived at your destination. You cannot wait to run into the mall to start shopping or get to the field to join the game! Not so fast – you should pay attention as you are getting off the bus, too. Here are some tips for getting off the bus safely:

  • Our BC Transit bus drivers are definitely super-heroes– but they cannot read your mind or predict the future. Remember to press the “Stop” button to let your driver know that you want to get off at the next stop! Also, please give the driver enough time to pull over to the stop safely.

  • Be careful getting up to exit the bus! Since the bus might still be moving, walk carefully to the back door and always hold on to one of the railings to balance yourself.

  • If you feel like it, give a wave and say “thanks!” to your bus driver as you leave the bus. We can guarantee it will make their day!

  • Make sure the way is clear before you step off the bus. It’s like crossing a street: look left, and then look right, then look left again. If the way is clear – off you go!

7) Bus Etiquette

What are some rules I should follow while on the bus?

Thanks for asking! There are a few kind and courteous things you can do while riding the bus that make all the difference for your fellow passengers. Here are a few:

  • Seats are for bodies - not bags, feet, or sopping wet umbrellas! Please place and hold your bag on your lap, under your seat or the floor in front of you where it will not get in the way of other passengers.

  • Bus rides are a great time to listen to your favourite tunes or watch your favourite show, but please use headphones and keep the volume at medium. Also – make sure to check your current location often – when you are on your phone or tablet, it is easy to get distracted and miss your stop.

  • When you are with your siblings or friends (especially a best friend), conversations can get loud quickly! We encourage you to chat, however, please keep your conversation topics appropriate and at a normal talking volume - even when you are talking on the phone! Shouting, screaming and laughing loudly can be a big distraction for your bus driver.

  • We appreciate your help in keeping the bus clean. Make sure that your food and drink lids are sealed tight, and please take any garbage with you when you leave. Thanks!

That’s it – you are done! Easy, right? Each time you go on the bus, practice the steps above because practice makes perfect. Thank you for participating in the training - we cannot wait to welcome you aboard the bus!

Click here  to take the “Ready to Ride Quiz” to see if you are ready for your first trip!

More tips to come!