Department of Transportation

Bus Riding Basics

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Bus Riding Basics

Arrive at the bus stop at least 10 minutes early.
Be standing at the stop, ready to board, when the bus arrives.

Have exact fare ready.
Fare boxes accept coins and dollar bills but do not make change. You may also show your monthly pass, which is easier to use and saves you money. Show proper identification if using a Senior or Special Rider (Disabled) Pass each time you enter a bus.

Board the bus through the front doors.
Please keep front seats available for disabled persons and senior citizens. Please move from a front seat to allow a disabled person or senior citizen to sit there if requested by the bus driver.

As your stop approaches, pull the signal cord located along the inside windows.
This signals the driver to stop at the next bus stop. Be sure to ring in sufficient time to allow driver to stop safely.

Exit through the rear door unless you have a bike on the bike rack.
If you have a bike on the bike rack, then please inform the driver you are getting your bike off. Please allow small children to exit first.

Please be aware of the following while on the bus:

  • No smoking on the bus.
  • No eating or drinking on the bus.
  • Service animals are allowed to accompany persons with disabilities; however, the animal must be under the control of its owner.
  • All radios, cassettes and compact disc players must be used with earphones.
Riding the Bus

How do I know when there are changes to a route, bus stop, schedule, etc.?
Changes to bus routes are posted directly at affected stops along the routes. Information regarding stops which are being changed or discontinued, as well as detour information, is also posted at bus stops.

Schedule changes and other information important for the public are printed on Public Notices. These Public Notices are printed on paper are posted inside buses. Public Notice information can also be found on the FAX website.

I was across the street and the bus pulled away before I was able to get to the stop. Shouldn’t the driver have waited for me?  
FAX stresses the importance of customers being at bus stops, ready to board the bus before it arrives. This way, the bus driver can remain on schedule, and customers will be delivered to their destinations on time.

There are several reasons why a driver may not wait for a customer before leaving a bus stop. Oftentimes, the bus driver is not aware that a person on the other side of the street wishes to board his/her bus. Additionally, there is a safety issue involved in customers running across streets to catch a bus. Once a driver pulls away from a bus stop, he/she is not permitted to pull back.

Why do I need to show proof of age/disability to a bus driver every time I board the bus when it is obvious that I am elderly or disabled?  
When FAX initiated the Special Rider and Handy Ride programs on buses, a policy was established to ensure that only those individuals entitled to receive a reduced fare actually paid the reduced fare amount.

All individuals, regardless of physical appearance, may be asked to present proof of their disability/age when requesting reduced fare. This policy ensures all customers are treated equally and it is not left up to the bus driver to determine if a customer is elderly or disabled.

Why won’t a bus driver force someone to move from the reserved seating in the front of the bus when someone who is disabled needs that seat?
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), bus drivers must “request” that a passenger move from the front seats designated for the disabled, but may not “force” the passenger to do so.

If you are elderly or disabled and need to sit in the front seats, and those seats are occupied, please talk to the bus driver who will then request the occupants of those seats move to other seats. Keep in mind that the individual(s) already occupying those seats may be elderly or disabled as well.

Using the Lift/Ramp

Will all sizes of wheelchairs fit on all FAX buses?
All FAX buses are accessible to persons with disabilities. However, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has set guidelines for the size and weight of mobility devices which can be transported on public transit vehicles. FAX cannot transport devices which exceed these guidelines because the bus lifts are not designed to hold additional weight and also because of the physical problems which could be sustained by bus drivers accommodating devices in excess of the guidelines.

ADA guidelines define a “common wheelchair” as a device no larger than 30 inches wide and 48 inches long when measured two inches above the ground. Additionally, the combined weight of the wheelchair and occupant cannot exceed 600 pounds.

Using the Bike Rack

What is the procedure for boarding my bike on the bus and being sure I get my bike off the bus when I disembark?
All FAX Buses are equipped with bike racks. The bike racks are located on the front bumper of the bus and are capable of accommodating two or three bicycles at a time. No additional fare or permit is required. The racks are available to all FAX passengers on a space available basis. Bicycles are not permitted at anytime inside the bus.

Use your bicycle in combination with Fresno Area Express to make travel even more convenient! Plus, it’s a great way to get exercise, reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.

LOADING YOUR BIKE
Prior to catching your bus, remove any bike accessories such as tire pumps or water bottles that could become loose while the bus is in motion.
When the bus arrives, let the driver know that you will be loading your bike onto the rack.
Always load from curbside or while directly in front of the bus. Never load on the driver’s side near the flow of traffic.
Use one hand to hold your bike and the other to unfold the rack.
While gripping the rack handle, slightly push in on the rack to unlock and release it from its folded position. Then, lower the rack down.
Lift your bike into the rack placing both tires into the wheel slots (always load your bike into the rack closest to the bus).
Pull the support arm up and adjust it securely over the front tire.

UNLOADING YOUR BIKE
As you approach your destination request a stop by pulling the gray bell cord or press the rubber strip. Tell the driver that you will be unloading your bike from the rack.
Exit the front door of the bus.
Unload your bike from curbside or while directly in front of the bus. Never unload your bike from the driver’s side.
Raise the support arm off the tire and lay it down into its locked position.
Lift your bike out of the bike rack.
If there are no other bikes in the rack, lift and push the bicycle rack up to the folded and locked position.
Step back onto the curb with your bike and you’re ready to roll.

Please remember that it’s the passenger’s responsibility to safely load and unload the bicycle.
FAX is not responsible for any damages or loss of bicycles incurred while using bus bike racks.

Using the Farebox

How do I pay when I board the bus?
Cash, tokens, passes and transfers can be used on all buses. If you use cash, exact fare is recommended because the fareboxes do not make change. Instead, you will receive a change card that can be used on future rides. Change cards cannot be redeemed for cash and will not be issued for values less than 25¢. Please have your fare ready when the bus arrives. The farebox accepts $1, $5, $10 and $20 bills. If you are using a monthly pass, please have your pass out to show the driver.

Lost & Found

How do I get an item back that I left on the bus?
Please check with Lost and Found Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to see if your item has been turned in. The phone number for Lost and Found items including lost bicycles is (559) 621-RIDE (7433).

You will need to provide a detailed description of the item that was lost, when it was lost, the bus route number, direction you were traveling and time you boarded the bus.

Seating for individuals with disabilities or elderly persons

FAX designates priority seating in the front of the bus for individuals with disabilities or elderly persons. If needed or requested, a bus driver may ask persons sitting in a location designated as priority seating to move as an accommodation for people with a disabilities or elderly persons.

All FAX buses have lifts or ramps for easy access by passengers who use mobility devices, or have difficulty climbing stairs. Assistance with boarding or exiting, wheelchair securement, lifts and fare payment is available from bus drivers when necessary or upon request.

If you believe you have a disability that prevents you from using the regular FAX route bus, consider using our Handy Ride service. For additional information, please call (559) 621-RIDE (7433).