How to Ride
Welcome aboard, SamTrans! Riding the bus in San Mateo County is easy, here are the five steps you need to know:
Step 1: Planning Your Trip
SamTrans travels throughout San Mateo County and into parts of San Francisco and Palo Alto.
Find your routes with the Schedules Tab at the top right on every page, where you will find a searchable list of all SamTrans routes and shuttles with stops and real-time info. Click on the route name you get to the route page with its schedule and live map.
Use the Map Tab second from the left and click to find routes servicing the area by clicking wherever you see our blue route lines, and then get real-time info of the buses on that route and all the stops with real-time info and explore the stop showing cafe's, schools etc. around it and an embedded street-view fo the stop (scroll up).
Use the Trip Planner Tab on the top left to get Google Maps directions.
For trip planning help, call 1-800-660-4287. For hearing impaired call 1-650-508-6448
- Riding with a Disability, please visit our Accessibility page.
- Riding with a Bike, please visit our bike page.
Step 2: Boarding the Bus
Be at the bus stop a few minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. As the bus approaches, check the electronic sign on the front or side of the bus to verify the route number and destination. Please stand back from the curb, allow the bus to come to a complete stop, allow passengers to get off the bus before you board and have your fare ready.
Step 3: Paying Your Fare
SamTrans accepts cash (exact change only), SamTrans Mobile app, paper tickets and Clipper.
SamTrans offers a variety of fare products including:
- Single Ride Tickets
- Day Passes
- Monthly Passes
Using the Farebox: When inserting your fare into the farebox, use flat bills and drop coins one at a time to prevent jamming. Learn more about SamTrans Fareboxes.
Step 4: Take a Seat
The seats in the front, nearest the bus operator, are designated for seniors and people with disabilities. If you choose to sit in them, please move if someone who needs them boards the bus. For safety, always remain seated or hold onto the bar or straps when the bus is moving.
Step 5: Arriving at Your Destination
Pull the yellow cord near the window or push the strip on the side of the window to signal the bus operator that you want to get off at the next bus stop. Pull the cord before your stop, allowing the operator enough time to pullover safely.
The bus will only stop at designated bus stops.
Other Things to Know
Our buses feature the latest safety and comfort advances in public transportation and are equipped with security cameras. Major intersections and transfer locations are automatically announced.
See our list of Passenger Tips.