How to Ride
Welcome aboard, SamTrans! Riding the bus in San Mateo County is easy, here are the five steps you need to know:
New On this Website
Now you can access real-time predictions of your buses for each stop under the Map Tab and the Schedule Tab on top of each page (see above).
TIP: Bookmark your favorite stops on your device (on mobile add it to your home screen) to quickly find when the next bus will be available and see alerts.
Step 1: Planning Your Trip
SamTrans travels throughout San Mateo County and into parts of San Francisco and Palo Alto.
Plan your transit trip with the Schedules Tab at the top right on every page, where you will find a searchable list of all routes and shuttles in our service area with its stops and real-time info, and if you click on the route name you get to the route detail page with its schedule etc. or click on the name of one of the stops and get all info of the stop (scroll up).
Check our real-time Service Alerts Tab one over from the right at the top of each page for current service info (scroll up).
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 directions (scroll up).
For trip planning help, call 1-800-660-4287. For hearing impaired call 1-650-508-6448
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
- 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 nearest the bus operator are designated for seniors and people with disabilities. If you choose to sit in them, be prepared to 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.