The Basics

Finding Your Bus

Figuring out which bas to take can be an intimidating first step. Luckily there are lots of options for figuring out which route works best for you.

  • Check out our resources page for information on routes serving St. Paul.
  • Visit Metro Transit’s website or call a transit information specialist at 612-373-3333 for help planning your trip.
  • You can even use Google Maps to plan your transit trips.

Finding Your Bus Stop

All bus stops in the metro area have signs like the one to the right. Once you know your route, find a stop on the street nearest your house. Before you get on the bus, make sure the number on the front and the direction it is going are the ones you want.

Some park and ride lots have multiple loading areas. Check the schedule to see what gate you depart from.

How Much Does it Cost?

Local buses and light rail trains cost $2.25 during the morning and afternoon rush hour and $1.75 at all other times. Your transfer ticket, good for up to 2.5 hours, is included in the fare.

Northstar trains cost a bit more depending on how far you are going.

There are special rates available for youth, seniors, people with disabilities, and Medicare cardholders. Before you pay, tell the driver if you qualify for one of these rates.

Paying Your Fare

There are a few ways you can pay for your bus fare. On most buses, you will pay as you board, but there are some express buses that you pay as you leave.

  • Cash: All buses accept cash payment for fares, but will not give you change. Slide exact change into the fare box located near the driver and wait to get your transfer, if you want it. Transfers are included in the fare and are good for 2.5 hours after your first payment.
  • SuperSaver passes: Slide your SuperSaver 31-day or stored value pass into the card reader on the fare box to pay your fare. No need to wait for a transfer, it is recorded on your card.
  • GoTo cards: If you have a GoTo card, Metropass, U-Pass, Student Pass, or College Pass, touch it to the GoTo circle on the blue card reader as you board. Your transfer is built right into the card for 2.5 hours after your first ride.

GoTo cards are available to anyone to load fares, while Metropass, U-Pass, Student Pass, and College Pass are special discount fare programs.

Learn more about GoTo cards, Metropass, College Pass, and Student Pass


bus_basics_transferSome trips may require more than one bus. Luckily, you can ride any bus or light rail train in the system for the next 2.5 hours with your initial paid fare.

If you paid with a GoTo card, Metropass, U-Pass, School Pass, College Pass, or SuperSaver pass, pay your fare the same way you did when boarding your first bus. Your transfer is built into your card.

If you paid your fare with cash, be sure you received a transfer from the driver when you paid to avoid having to pay for your next fare. Transfers issued from drivers resemble SuperSaver cards and are inserted into the fare box the same way.

You cannot use a SuperSaver or transfer pass when boarding the light rail—only cards with GoTo technology can properly transfer from bus to train.

Getting Off the Bus

When you’re ready to get off the bus, just pull the cord above the window to signal the driver. Signal about a block before your stop. Drivers typically call out major intersections to help you keep track. If you are unfamiliar with where you are going, you can ask the driver to let you know a specific stop or when to get off. Most drivers are pretty accommodating.