Here’s how we can all work together to make sure everyone enjoys a happy ride.

Getting on the bus.

Know the route. Call MVTA at 952-882-7500 to answer all your transit questions before riding the bus for the first time, or go to Routes.

Be on time. We operate on a set schedule. In other words, we know things come up, but in fairness to all our riders, we can’t wait. To avoid being left behind, try to be 3-5 minutes early.

Line up. If you’re boarding a bus with other riders, please don’t block access. Forming a nice line makes it easy for everybody!

Have the right fare ready. Since you need to pay for your ride, be sure to have your fare ready (cash or card/transfer). Note that your transfers, Go-To Cards and passes are not transferable to someone else – you cannot lend them, give them away or sell them to others. (Tip: Go-To Cards can be used to pay for a group – just alert your driver.) Failure to pay for your ride can result in a $180 fine. On most routes, fares are paid when entering. On routes from downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul, fares are paid when exiting. Fare information.

Enjoying the ride. Your fellow passengers are just trying to get from point A to point B. So here are some ways we can all assist.

Let the driver drive. Your driver has to make sure everyone reaches their destination safely, so avoid distractions, or, heaven forbid, threats or harassment. Obviously, anyone going down that road may end up dealing with law enforcement.

Be visible. In dark conditions, wear light or reflective clothing. Carry a flashlight or use your cell phone to signal the driver as the bus approaches your stop.  

Dress for the weather. Dress appropriately for the weather and be prepared for weather changes. The weather when first boarding the bus may be quite different on the ride home.

Detours and snow reroutes. Road construction may cause route changes. Buses may operate on a snow reroute schedule during winter storms. Check www.mvta.com for current information and sign up for MVTA route alerts.

Ask your driver. Drivers are often the most valuable source of information. If there are questions or concerns once on board the bus, talk to the driver. They can answer schedule questions, fare questions, control the interior bus temperature or make referrals to other sources of information.

Flag stops. In the suburbs, many of MVTA's buses will stop at any safe corner along the route. Simply wave to the driver as the bus approaches, making yourself as visible as possible. Other routes are considered Designated Stop routes (including 444, 445) and a list of locations where these buses stop is included in the appropriate pocket schedule.

Being nice to others.

If you smoke, don’t do it on the bus, in shelters, transit stations or on platforms. This includes e-cigarettes or vaping. If you must, just leave the bus, or step away from the shelter or platform area.

There are designated seats at the front of the bus reserved for seniors and customers with disabilities. If the seat is needed, be prepared to cheerfully relocate.

Headphones or ear buds will keep you from bugging your neighbors. But for your own sake, keep the volume low enough to protect your hearing and spare others from the tinny spillover.

Use your inside voice whether you’re talking to a seatmate or on your phone. Remember, we’re all in this together, so please keep it down. And by all means, keep it G-rated. No swearing, harassment, shouting or generally being a jerk. Nobody needs that.

Cell phones should be set to vibrate or at least ring very quietly. Keep conversations short, and do not distract the driver with loud voices.

Keep it clean for those who will ride after you. Meaning, no feet on the seats. And of course, no spitting gum, tobacco or anything else on the bus or in any transit facility. Likewise, don’t deface, deform, destroy, damage, mar, mark, cut, etch, or otherwise damage any bus or transit facility – that’s flat-out illegal. And one last rule of thumb – if you bring anything on the bus, take it with you, trash included.

No shirt, no shoes – you know the rest. Just like in stores and other businesses, customers without shirts or shoes are out of luck. If you want to ride, dress accordingly.

Any scents you like to wear might not be enjoyed by your neighbor, especially in a small, enclosed space. So please, go easy on the perfume or cologne. 

Loitering makes people nervous. We love people, but transit facilities are public locations for transit customers. So just hanging out at facilities isn’t allowed.

Strollers are all about safety. So please remove your child(ren) from the stroller, collapsing it to stow with you in your seat. Strollers should not be placed in aisles, in front of doorways or in the wheelchair area.

Eating food is a no-go if you want to go on the bus. Drinking alcoholic beverages is prohibited on buses and at MVTA facilities.

Coffee is cool if it’s covered. Feel free to bring your morning coffee, but in a container with a sealed lid. And remember to take the container off the bus with you when you leave.

Just say no to sprawl. Keep your bag on your lap, not the seat next to you. Some buses have luggage racks, and others even have overhead compartments to store personal items. But remember to take everything with you when you leave. If your carry-on item poses a hazard to or inconvenience for other riders, your driver has the right to keep you from boarding.

Be Careful. Remember that transit buses do not have "stop" arms as school buses do. Whenever possible, cross behind, not in front of, a transit vehicle. And, please don't tamper with any of the equipment on buses or at transit facilities.

Skateboarding is a no-no. For everyone’s safety, it’s just not allowed at MVTA facilities.

Standing happens. If there are no seats available when boarding, please move as far back into the bus as possible. And please let standing passengers exit first, followed by seated passengers from the front of the bus to the back.

Keep your pet in a carrier. Pets are welcome on buses and trains as long as they are kept in animal carriers. This does not apply to service animals.

Lights out at Park & Ride Facilities. If someone is meeting you at a park & ride, please have them turn off the vehicle's headlights, as not to blind others in the lot.

No solicitations here. It’s simple: do not sell, deliver, barter or exchange any goods, services or merchandise on MVTA buses and at MVTA transit facilities. The same for begging or panhandling. 

Getting off the bus.

Guaranteed Ride Home. The Guaranteed Ride Home program is free and easy to use. Sponsored by the region, riders must pre-register for the program, and in turn can ride an alternate route home or be reimbursed for cab fare. Registered participants can request reimbursements up to four times per year or $100 in value, whichever comes first. Check out Guaranteed Ride Home for more information and a registration form.

Connecting service. Much of MVTA's local service is timed to meet regional buses and trains at the Mall of America Transit Station. MVTA's express services connect with many regional buses in downtown Minneapolis, and in downtown St. Paul. If an MVTA bus does not travel direct to your destination, chances are you can still get there by transferring to another bus. More information on transfers, or more information on routes.

Lost and found. It’s always a good idea to take one last look before leaving your seat. For a lost or found item, call MVTA at 952-882-7500 as soon as possible. Please note item lost, describe item location on-board the bus, bus route and number (if possible), and time and day of travel.

Questions, comments or concerns. MVTA drivers work hard to provide safe, on-time, courteous service. If you have any comments, questions or concerns e-mail or call MVTA at 952-882-7500.