HOW TO RIDE
1. If you are a new rider or will be taking the bus to a new destination, get the information you will need before beginning your trip. Bus schedules are available at our offices, bus shelters, or by downloading our app, myStop.
2. The system map shows you where each route travels around Erie City and County. Begin by finding a route number closest to your starting point.
3. Stand at your bus stop. Some of the “e” bus stops are marked with posted bus signs. If there is not a posted bus stop sign near the area in which you want to board along the route, go to the nearest intersection and wait on the same side of the street in which the bus is traveling. Always try to be at the bus stop several minutes early. Make sure you are standing where the driver can see you.
4. Read the bus destination signs before boarding. The “e” buses are marked with both the names and the numbers of the route(s) they serve. They are located on the front of the bus.
5. Have the exact fare or your bus pass ready when you board.
6. If you need a transfer, you must purchase the transfer when paying fare.
7. Have your children ready to board and stroller folded before the bus pulls up.
8. Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before boarding and exiting.
9. Please observe the following: no eating, drinking, smoking, playing radios or compact stereos.
10. The seats near the driver are designated for the elderly and disabled. Please volunteer your seat to anyone who is less able to stand than you are.
11. Service animals, to aid the disabled, are permitted on the bus, but may not occupy a seat and must be on a leash. Small pets in carriers are permitted.
12. Keep aisle clear of objects that might cause harm to others.
13. Thank you for your cooperation and tell a friend to get on board with us today!
The Travel Training Program is a FREE service for those who want to learn how to travel independently using the fixed-route (the e) or paratransit service (LIFT). We offer group and individual training. For the fixed route service (the e), learn how to read route maps and schedules, the different bus fare options, how to transfer, and about EMTA’s transit tracking options. For the paratransit service (LIFT), learn about the different policies and procedures as well as how to make your advance pick-up reservation. Get on board with EMTA and schedule your Travel Training today! Call 814-459-8922 for more information.
BUS SAFETY & RIDER ETIQUETTE
EMTA wants your ride on our buses to be safe and pleasant. In order to provide the best possible service and to greatly reduce your chances for injuries while riding the bus, EMTA wants to stress the following information.
Boarding the Bus
While every effort is made to ensure buses arrive on time at their scheduled stop, sometimes events outside of EMTA’s control affect that goal. Weather conditions and traffic situations, such as road closures, construction delays, or accidents have an effect on arrival times. Boarding the bus in an orderly and considerate manner always helps promote a timely departure from the stop. A general guideline would be to stand approximately two feet from the curb and wait until the bus completely stops before nearing the bus to board. Always be aware of snow, ice, and other potential hazards such as curbs or potholes etc. that may be in your path to the bus.
Having your pass or fare ready for deposit into the fare box helps keep the buses on time. Strollers and shopping carts must be folded prior to entry and stored out of the aisle before departure can occur. Keeping the aisle clear is an important safety concern for all passengers in case of the need for an unexpected, hurried departure from the bus.
For passenger safety and consideration, shoes and shirts are required garments to be worn. It is recommended that you arrive at your boarding location five minutes in advance. People’s watches or timepieces can vary by a few minutes, so being at the stop a bit early will help ensure you make it to your destination on time.
Never walk beside the bus, especially between the curb and the bus. This is very dangerous due to visibility concerns and the potential to slip and fall.
Intoxicated passengers may be refused service from EMTA. At no time will harassment or bullying of any person on the bus, including the operator, be tolerated. If you are being harassed, move away from that person and report the situation to your operator. EMTA will take definitive action against those who harass others on EMTA buses or property.
When riding the downtown trolley, extended riding is prohibited. A passenger is welcome to ride one loop of the downtown route, but then they must exit. Of course, boarding at a later time is allowed, but the continual riding without purpose is not permitted.
After Boarding the Bus
Please allow the elderly or others who are in need of special service to have access to the seats at the front of the bus. These passengers may not ask for those seats, so being observant and courteous to others is quite important in order to be a rider who practices good etiquette. Eating and drinking on the bus can distract others and cause unnecessary debris or slipping hazards in the case of a spilled drink. Your driver will politely remind you that the bus rules prohibit eating and drinking.
Listening to music through personal electronic devices by passengers is, of course, allowed. If you would have an external speaker, please ensure it is used at a low volume so as to not disturb others. Cell phones are a basic necessity in today’s fast- paced life. When on the phone, please keep your conversation to a lower level as others may be trying to concentrate on something else, or they may also be on the phone. Courtesy is contagious, so lead by positive example.
While riding, it may be tempting to talk with the operator about everyday life and current events. Your operator will surely be polite, but remember, their job is to drive the bus in a safe and timely manner. EMTA wants to limit distractions to the operators in every way possible. Please be aware that the operator may not engage in conversation. It is not because they are not interested, but rather they want to operate their bus as safely and attentively as possible. Your cooperation is encouraged with this. Obviously, please report to the driver any unsafe or unlawful acts you may observe as these will need the driver’s attention. Also, for the consideration of all on board, the use of foul, loud, or profane language is prohibited.
Passengers with small children should secure them in an attentive manner. Children should be seated or held as necessary. Baby carriers should always be held or placed on a seat, but never be placed in such a manner that the passenger does not have physical control of the carrier. A child that is sleeping or unattended can easily fall off a seat and be injured. Attention to your child is imperative and will help provide a safe ride. Hold your child’s hand while boarding or de-boarding to help navigate the step up or down on the bus.
Obviously, standing on a bus is appropriate and legal. When seats are available, standing should always be your second choice. If you must stand, be aware that the bus is making frequent stops and may have to stop more quickly than normal to avoid a hazard. Keep secure by holding a handrail or a leather hanging loop.
Americans with Disabilities Act
Those passengers using a mobility device require special services. If a passenger is traveling in a scooter, but they are able to transfer to a seat, that is the best option for safety. The operator will secure your scooter, but sitting in a seat is the best option, as some scooters have more of a tendency to tip over during an emergency braking or turning situation.
Passengers who are limited to a mobility device will be given priority front area access. The mobility device will be secured to the securement system installed in the bus. This is mandatory and is for everyone’s safety on board. There is also a lap and shoulder harness that can be used for the passenger.
Those passengers with special needs will be accommodated in the best way possible. Operators will kneel the bus in situations where it is obvious that it is needed. You are welcome to request the driver to kneel the bus should you want that. Please notify the operator of any special needs and the location of the stop where you will be getting off. Caretakers boarding with their client will also need to have a fare for their transportation.
A passenger’s service animal will be allowed. Be advised: the driver may ask if the animal is a service animal. Other animals are allowed if they are in a small carrier.
No firearms or weapons, including knives, are allowed on EMTA buses, property, or in shelters. Smoking is prohibited at all times on the bus or on EMTA property. Flammable liquids and explosive items are not permitted to be transported on the bus. This is for everyone’s safety.
Distributing handbills or literature on the bus or on EMTA is prohibited. These items cause unnecessary litter and are not always welcomed by all passengers.
Large, bulky items such as big screen televisions and furniture may be prohibited from being transported on the bus. If the item cannot be stored between seats or out of the aisle, the operator may ask you to not bring that item on board which may require you to arrange alternative transportation. Please check with your driver or EMTA offices to ask about these large items before you attempt to ride, so there is no disappointment or confusion.
Personal belongings such as purses, packages, and groceries should always be secured. Keep control of your purse, and place packages and groceries on seats beside you so they can be secured and not roll into the aisle.
Exiting the Bus
Please pull the “stop requested” signal line well before your requested stop to give the operator sufficient time to make a safe, smooth stop. Be sure to use handrails once you stand to exit the bus.
Passengers must remain behind the yellow line near the driver’s seat while the bus is in operation. Please wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before walking down any steps to the exit doors. The operator will open the door and you should exit before other passengers try to board. While exiting, make sure of your step down from the bus. Ice, snow, or leaves may cover a potential hazard. Always be aware of where the curb is upon your exit.
After you exit the bus, allow the bus to pull away before crossing the roadway. Allowing the bus to leave first enables you to have a better view of oncoming traffic and makes the operator’s departure safer. The use of crosswalks and pedestrian traffic signals is always the best way to cross a street.
Passengers leave personal items behind on the bus frequently.The vast majority of the time, the package left behind is explainable.If school children were on the bus and a child’s book bag is left behind…is that suspicious? Possibly, but most likely it is harmless. However, if you observe a package on a bus that appears suspicious, what is the best course of action?For example, you observe a passenger board the bus and leave a few minutes later. You also observed that passenger slide a box or bag under a seat and leave it behind. While this might be explainable, reporting this to the operator would be appropriate and needed, especially if that box or bag is omitting an odor, contains visible wires, or is stained. The operator will then determine the course of action based on his or her training. Saying something when you see something suspicious is always the best way to go.
With regard to suspicious people, tensions could run high due to acts of terror and violence in today’s world climate. Reporting a suspicious person to your driver is a tool that can be used to help prevent an incident from developing. Who is suspicious? That is a very tough question as America is very diverse and not everyone behaves in a manner that is consistent. Use your personal experience, knowledge of world events, and your common sense to determine whether to report a “suspicious person” to your operator. If someone is acting in a threatening manner, threatening people, or simply behaving so suspiciously that your instincts say this is not normal behavior or explainable, please report your concerns to your operator.
It is the goal of EMTA to create a safe, pleasant, and comfortable atmosphere for our passengers, vendors, contractors, and employees. In order to promote this positive atmosphere, harassment, verbal abuse, and intimidation of any nature, is prohibited on buses, at stops and shelters, and on EMTA property. Passengers are expected to behave in a cordial manner, as will our employees. Harassment is any discriminatory behavior that is exhibited by a person. That includes discriminatory statements or improper actions with regards to sex, sexual orientation, race, creed, color, religion, disability, or gender identification. Harassment can also include the use of foul, threatening, or loud language directed at a person or employee.
If EMTA management concludes that discriminatory behavior has occurred, they reserve the right to prohibit the offending person from riding buses or working at or being on EMTA property for a period of time, up to a permanent ban. Local law enforcement will also respond, as needed, to ensure a safe environment.
False claims against passengers or employees will also be handled accordingly and are prohibited.
In an emergency evacuation, exit the bus in an orderly fashion as quickly as safety allows. There are emergency windows that can be removed, as well as emergency roof hatches that can be accessed. Of course, the exit doors will be opened, if possible, and they can be used for evacuation. In an emergency evacuation, exit the bus in an order fashion, but as fast as you can. Your driver will be assisting in the evacuation if possible. Leave the direct area of the bus and seek shelter or cover, as appropriate. Do not reenter the bus for personal belongings. Help those in need, if possible, during the evacuation and take control of your children as well. Remain in a safe area until released by the authorities.
Following these steps and etiquette guidelines will make your ride on an EMTA bus more pleasant, timely, and safe. Your cooperation is appreciated, and, as always, thank you for riding the “e.”