Waiting for the Bus
At present, designated bus stops on Columbia Transit routes are marked with the blue Bus Stop sign and also any street corner at the end of the block. It is the intention of Columbia Transit to eventually stop only at areas and intersections marked with bus stop signs. Until that time, should any passenger wish to catch a bus at an un-marked intersection they should make an effort to alert the driver to the fact they are interested in catching the bus. A raised, open hand and eye-contact with the driver will assure that the driver will stop the bus and pick you up. Since not every intersection is, at this time, marked as a designated stop, unless you alert the driver to your desire to ride the bus, the driver may assume you have some other reason for standing at the corner.
Have your fare, transfer, FASTPass and any necessary I.D., or ticket ready.
When boarding the bus, be sure to have correct change for the fare box. Drivers do not carry change and the fare boxes don’t give change. If you’re using FASTPass, have it out and ready to show to the driver. If you’re using a half-fare FASTPass, be sure to have your identification, showing your eligibility for half-fare out and available to show the driver. Ask for transfers as you board the bus and pay your fare. Having your correct change, FASTPass and identification out and ready helps the driver to keep the bus moving on schedule.
Move quickly to your seat.
The bus will move as soon as all passengers are safely boarded. Please be seated as quickly as possible and secure yourself by hanging on to the hand or guard rails. Passengers should not stand in front of the yellow line while the bus is in motion. Once the bus is in motion, do not distract the driver. The driver has a lot of things to pay attention to outside the bus in order to keep you and other passengers safe.
Front bus seats are reserved for the elderly and for persons with disabilities. Please move to the back of the bus when possible, and leave those seats available for passengers in wheelchairs and the elderly.
Packages and Strollers
Packages and strollers must be kept out of the aisles for safety as required by the U.S. and Missouri Department of Transportation. If necessary, and if there are no wheelchairs aboard, the seats in the front of the bus may be raised to accommodate strollers. However, should the bus become crowded, or a passenger with a wheelchair board the bus the stroller may need to be removed from the seating area and possibly even folded up and the child aboard the stroller held.
Packages and boxes that fit on the lap or under the seat are allowed. Weapons, toxic chemicals, flammable materials, large packages, furniture, and lumber should not be brought on the bus.
Skateboards, roller skates, and roller blades must be carried when entering, on, or exiting the bus.
Smoking, Drinking, and Eating
Please don’t bring lit cigarettes, open food containers, or un-capped drink containers on the bus. Food particles and spilt liquids can be a hazard as well as unpleasant matters on the bus. Please have any food in closed containers, and any drinks in a spill-proof (meaning if it falls or tips nothing leaks out) glasses or mugs. While on the bus the food and drink containers should remain closed.
Students on the Public Bus
Mass transit is one of the safest forms of transportation (by some estimates, buses are nearly 91 times safer than riding in an automobile!), but it is not without risks, especially for school-age children. Students need to learn to recognize and avoid these risks so they can get to and from school safely. Unlike a school bus, motorists traveling on a street with city buses do not have to stop when city buses stop to pick up and drop off students. Transit buses move away from the bus stop as soon as passengers have gotten on or off and do not supervise children crossing the street. Most bus stops are at intersections, many of which do not have a traffic light or crossing signal. For these reasons, students who travel to school on a public bus need to observe the following precautions:
- Stay seated until the bus comes to a complete stop.
- Be alert as you get off the bus.
- Never cross the street in front of a public bus.
- Wait for the bus to pull away so that you have a clear view of the street.
- Cross at the cross walk or street corner, and wait for the light to turn green or for the WALK signal.
In fact, these are good rules of thumb for every passenger on a transit bus and should be taken into consideration by all riders.
Exiting the Bus
In order to allow the driver to make a smooth stop when approaching your stop, ring the bus bell by pulling the overhead cord or, in the case of passengers in a wheelchair, pressing the yellow strip on the raised seat bottom, for a stop one half block before the stop. Passengers should remain seated until the bus comes to a complete stop. Exit by the rear door, except passengers with small children and strollers should exit through the front door to make it easier for the driver to determine that you and your little ones have cleared the door before closing it.
Abusive Language or Actions
Columbia Transit wants to assure that all passengers have a safe and pleasant ride. Toward that goal, offensive language or actions will not be tolerated on the bus. We all make mistakes occasionally, so drivers may be lenient on first offenses. However, drivers have been told that they may have offensive or abusive passengers removed from the bus, and if necessary those persons may be banned from the bus for an extended period. Each bus is equipped with video cameras and recorders that tape all activity on the bus which can be used in prosecution and observation of offensive behavior.
Passengers are also asked to report any episodes of abusive behavior or language not directly observed by the driver. In extreme cases of behavior or defacing of transit property, the video tape may be used as evidence in prosecution of offenders.
Accidents, Criminal Activity, and Other Emergencies
Despite the greatest of efforts to avoid them, accidents can and will still occur. It is important that passengers on the bus during an accident remain calm and understand that in such cases reports must be filed with the police. Be ready to give your observations, if any, to the officer in charge of the case, a transit supervisor, or the driver as well as your phone number and address. Even though the cameras on the bus can and will record the incident, it is important to have the observations of passengers in addition to the video record. Report any and all injuries you may have suffered in the accident immediately.
In the rare event of criminal activity on the bus (assault, robbery, etc.) passengers should remain calm and let the driver and/or dispatcher handle the situation. Columbia Transit has special procedures it follows in many different situations that drivers and dispatchers have been trained to handle. Passengers may be asked for a description of any perpetrators, and should be prepared for questions from the authorities. Be a good witness.
Passengers are asked to report any suspicious activities they see. These activities may be as simple as something that seems slightly out of place or unusual for the time and place it occurs.