Visitors Counter
Frequently Asked Questions Print
All of the answers to your most frequently asked questions... 

Where do I find a schedule?

Bus schedules are available at the METRO Office at 114 Valley Street, Downtown Transportation Center at the Elm Street Garage (also known as the METRO PULSE) and on METRO buses.

Schedules are also available at the Convention and Visitors Bureau, Portland's Downtown District and several other locations in Greater Portland. For online versions, check out Route Maps and Schedules.

How do I  ride the bus?
Find out where you want to go and what time you want to get there and then determine which bus routes serve your destination point and starting point. Check the route schedules at Route Maps and Schedules or pick up a schedule at a convenient location (please see above).

Look at the schedule serving your destination first, and find the time point on that schedule nearest your destination. Time-points are landmarks or intersections that show estimated arrival times of the bus. Each schedule shows a map of the route, and time points. In most cases, you can get on and off the bus at bus stops between these time-points (there are hundreds of bus stops located along METRO routes).

Then check the schedule for where you want to begin your trip to determine when you need to catch the bus. You should plan to arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the scheduled time.

Where do I wait for the bus?
bus stop signLook for a METRO bus stop signs (located throughout the Greater Portland area.) The routes served are listed on the sign. Use a hand motion to signal the bus driver at the bus stop. It is a good idea to arrive at your bus stop five minutes before the bus is due to arrive. The route you want to take will displayed on the top of the bus (this is called a Destination Sign). But, remember, don’t be afraid to ask the bus drivers questions about the route, when you get on the bus. They are there to help. Most buses also stop at the DownTown Tranportation Center (METRO PULSE), located at the Elm Street Garage.


 What is the METRO PULSE?

dtc-exterior-with-both-signThis is the hub for METRO Bus. Most METRO buses (#2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7) begin and end their route at the Downtown Transportation Center (METRO PULSE). The DTC is located at the Elm Street Garage (Elm Street is off Congress Street, near the Portland Public Library).

For many routes, this is the place to transfer to another bus (For example, if you live in Falmouth and want to go to the Maine Mall, you would take the #7, Falmouth Flyer to the METRO Pulse location at Elm Street and then transfer to the #5 Maine Mall bus--don't forget to ask for a transfer).

This facility (Open Mon-Saturday) has a large waiting room, rest rooms and a dispatcher available to answer questions and sell bus tickets.

Please note: On Sunday, Routes #1 & #5 are combined for limited service; the route #1/#5 stops along Congress Street but not does not service the METRO Pulse location.

How do I pay to ride?
Deposit exact fare into the fare box. If you have purchased a METRO Monthly Pass, show the bus operator your METRO Pass. METRO has partnered with middle and high schools in our service area to offer a reduced fare (75 cents). Students attending participating schools should present their METRO Student Fare Card or CURRENT student ID and ride for 75 cents.  If you have a Ten Ride ticket, the driver will punch your ticket. If you have a coupon, insert the coupon into the fare box. Monthly Passes and TenRide Tickets are available at several locations throughout Greater Portland.

How do I signal to get off the bus?
Pull either the vertical or horizontal cord inside the bus or press the yellow strip one stop before your desired stop.

Can I bring my bike on board the bus?
Bike racks are on all buses, so take your bike with you!
To take your bike with you, remove loose items from your bike, release the latch on the bike rack and load your bike onto the rack in the front of the bus. Then board the bus. Enjoy the ride. Inform the bus driver that you will be unloading your bike as you exit the bus.


How do I transfer to another bus?

If you need to change buses, ask the bus driver for a free transfer when you pay your fare. When you change to another bus, give this transfer to the next bus driver. Transfers are to be used on the next available bus going to your destination. The time limit on transfers is approximately 1/2 hour.


Please note additional information on transfers:

    - Transfers are valid only on the date issued and are issued when bus fare is paid.

    - Transfers are not transferable.

    - Transfers can be used for continuous travel in one general direction only.

    - Transfers may only be used where bus routes intersect.

    - The only time a transfer can be used on the same us is when a METRO Bus & Buy
       or Park & Shop stamp is affixed to the back of the transfer.

    - Rider must ask for an additional transfer (from the second bus) to transfer more
      than once.


METRO also accepts transfers from South Portland City Bus (FREE transfers are available between METRO and South Portland) and ZOOM Bus. Amtrak/DownEaster passengers may ride free from the PTC if they show the METRO bus operator their (same day) train ticket.


Are wheelchairs accessible to buses?

Yes. All METRO buses are equipped with passenger lifts or ramps that can be used by persons with wheelchairs, walkers or persons with disabilities that may require on-boarding assistance. (The combined weight of the customer and mobility aid can not exceed 600 lbs.)


If I still have questions, how do I get answers?

Call 774-0351 or check out other areas of this site.

Or, ask the bus operator or dispatcher at the Downtown Transportation Center (METRO PULSE), located at the Elm Street Garage.