If you’re new to WestCAT, or have questions about riding the bus or the fixed route service, the following steps will help to make your trip a pleasant one. Our goal is to provide the residents and visitors in our service area with high-quality transit service.
1. Find the Correct Bus Route
The first step in riding the bus is to find the correct bus route to reach your destination. Start by looking at the bus schedule. Remember that you may need to transfer from one route to another to reach your destination, or to return. Be sure to ask for a transfer ticket from the bus operator.
2. Find Out What Time the Bus Will Arrive at Your Stop
You can quickly find out what time the bus arrives at your stop by referring to the appropriate schedule. Note that weekday bus timetables may differ from weekend or holiday service.
Reading a Schedule
The route the bus travels is identified with timepoints. Timepoints are locations along the route that have a scheduled time when the buses will depart them. The bus pulls from its first timepoint at the time listed and then travels to the second timepoint. By checking the scheduled stop times for the intersection or time point nearest your departure and arrival points, you can calculate your total riding time. Many bus stops fall between timepoints, and therefore do not have an exact time listed on the schedule. If your bus stop is located between two timepoints, refer to the nearest timepoint shown before your location. Keep in mind that the time points are not the only places where the bus stops along the route.
3. Catching the Bus
Please remember that the bus will board passengers at designated bus stops only. Designated bus stops have WestCAT bus stop signs that show which bus routes serve that stop. Always make sure to be at the bus stop a few minutes early. As you wait for the bus, remember that there is a sign above the windshield (called a “headsign”) on each bus that identifies the route number and final destination. Watch carefully for your route number and destination as the bus approaches your stop. Many bus stops are served by more than one bus route, so make sure you are getting on the right bus. For example, buses heading for Hercules Transit Center will show a route number followed by the final destination on the headsign. A Route 10 bus may say “10 HERCULES TRANSIT CENTER” which means the Hercules Transit Center is the end of line.
Please make sure you are at the bus stop when you signal your bus. If you are seated in a shelter or on a bus bench, stand up.This will let the driver know that you wish to board. If you do not know where the nearest bus stop is, please contact 511 and a voice-activated service will direct you to the nearest stop.
4. Paying Your Fare
Cash, tickets and passes can be used on all buses. If you have cash, you must have the exact fare because bus operators do not carry change. Have your fare ready when boarding. Deposit cash and tickets directly into the farebox. If you need a transfer (which will allow you to switch to another WestCAT route), please request it when you pay your fare, not when you are getting off the bus. Reduced fare passengers may be required to show either an RTC discount card, Veterans disability ID, or a Medicare card. For fare information, visit our Fares page.
6. Riding Tips
After paying your fare, quickly move to a vacant seat. The seats immediately behind the bus operator are reserved for seniors and disabled riders in order to make getting on and off the bus easier, please give up those seats should they board. Please remain seated/stationary until the bus comes to a full and complete stop. If all seats are taken, hold on to the grab rails. Stay behind the white/yellow standee line when the bus is in motion.
7. Leaving the Bus
Be alert for your destination. If you’re not certain about where it is, ask the bus operator to call out your destination. Sitting close to the front will help you hear when your destination is announced.
To signal the operator to stop the bus, pull the cord above the window or press the yellow tape. Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before leaving your seat. To ensure your safety, buses will only stop at designated bus stops. Please leave through the rear doors if possible to allow new passengers to board.
We can also show you how ride WestCAT! Check out our Travel Training page.