How to Ride Metro

INTRO

If you are new to riding a bus or just want more information on utilizing the services Bay Metro provides, this section will help you out – from boarding to deboarding, to making transfers, to booking a DART ride, to reading a schedule.

If you have any questions or would like individualized travel training, please call the Planning Department at (989)894-2900, extensions #1229 or #1230.

WHERE and WHEN

Check the “ROUTES and SCHEDULES” tab for times and stop locations. With the exception of Route 1, Bay Metro’s other 9 fixed-route buses leave from the Central Bus Station every 45 minutes Monday through Friday. On Saturdays, the 6 fixed routes leave at the top of every hour from 9:00am to 5:00pm.The Central Bus Station (CBS) is located at 1124 Washington Avenue in downtown Bay City. All of the fixed-route buses follow designated paths with regularly scheduled checkpoints along the way.

While there are designated stops on each route (i.e. bus stop signs, apartment complexes, the mall, etc.), you may board any of our fixed-route buses anywhere along their route by simply flagging them down like you would a taxi. Be advised, however, that you must be in a safe location for the bus to stop and be on the correct side of the street (the side of the street with traffic going in the direction you want to travel).

Be at the stop at least 5 minutes earlier than the time you expect it.

Some buses travel the same routes, so check the route number located in the area above the windshield of the bus to make sure it is the bus you want.

As the bus approaches, give the driver a wave to make sure they see you and stop the bus.

Have the proper fare or ticket ready – drivers do NOT have change.

BOARDING

Drop fare in the farebox; hand tickets or transfer slips to the driver.

Ask for a transfer slip if needed. Transfer slips allow for a free transfer to another bus at the Central Bus Station for the next departure of buses. If you have any questions, just ask the driver.

If you are transferring from a Bay Metro bus to another County’s transit system, plan ahead and make sure you know their fares and time schedules. Saginaw STARS can be reached at (989)907-4000 or (989)753-9500. Midland Dial-A-Ride’s number is (989)837-6940. Midland County Connection’s number is (989)837-9540. Arenac Dial-A-Ride’s number is (989)846-7500. Keep in mind that the Midland and Arenac systems require advance reservations.

Get to your seat quickly and carefully – as the drivers are on a schedule.

Please allow seniors and the disabled to ride in the designated front seats of the bus.

Safety instructions and courtesy rules are posted behind the driver.

DEBOARDING

Push/pull the “Stop Request” button/cord soon enough to allow the driver to pull over at the stop you need. Some buses are equipped with pull cords; some with yellow strips between the windows; others have neither, so just let the driver know where and when you want to deboard.

 

The driver will stop at the next corner, bus stop, or the next stop on the route pamphlet. Driver may ask if they are not sure. Or, you could just tell the driver.

If you have to cross the street after deboarding, wait for the bus to depart so that you can see traffic in both directions.

DIAL-A-RIDE (DART) SERVICE

Bay Dart is an origin-to-destination service designed to assist seniors (60 yrs and older) and disabled citizens of Bay County with special transportation needs. ADA certified passengers have priority in scheduling, as opposed to those persons who are not certified. The main criteria for ADA certification is the inability to use accessible fixed-route service. Please call (989)894-0631 or 1-888-237-6635 to request a registration form. The approval process will be completed within 21 working days from the time Bay Metro receives your application. However, additional medical information may be required.

HOW TO BOOK A DART RIDE

If you have never used DART before, call to determine eligibility and any other details you may need to know.  Also, your information will be entered into a computer to speed up the scheduling process when you do call to schedule a ride.

Call (989)894-0631 from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday to schedule.

You must call at least 1 day in advance, but no more than 1 week in advance.

Tell the scheduler the time you need to be at your destination and the scheduler will tell you what time they will pick you up to go there.

For the return trip, tell the scheduler what time you need to be picked up and the scheduler will schedule as close as possible to that time.

Be flexible.  Persons that use public transit share the service with everybody in the community.  Plan on a 20 minute window around the pick-up and drop-off times that  the scheduler tells you.  Also, while

booking your rides, the scheduler may “negotiate” times with you to help avoid over-booking during certain times.

Be ready. There is only a 5 minute wait time once your ride arrives. After 5 minutes, your ride will depart.

Cancel early.  You may leave a message in the DART office if you call outside of normal scheduling hours.  Not canceling rides could result in suspension of service if it happens frequently.

Notify the scheduler if you will be accompanied by a certified Personal Care Attendant; they will not be charged.  One companion may also travel with you (or more if capacity available), but they will be charged fare. DART fare is $1.50 per one-way trip.

HOW TO READ A SCHEDULE