STEP 1: Find RTD information.
There are several easy ways to find RTD information:
On Your Computer
Plan your trip using our Trip Planner, buy passes, find route, schedule and fare information and look for information about all programs and services here on sanjoaquinRTD.com
On a Mobile Device
Get departure information on the go with TextBus on your mobile device. Smartphone users can also find helpful tools and apps to use make riding RTD even easier.
Call the Customer Service Center (CSC) for complete service information at 1.800.HOW.TO.RIDE (469.8674) or 209.943.1111. The Customer Information Line Hours are Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Visit the Downtown Transit Center to pick up schedules, passes and brochures, or talk to a Customer Service Representative:
Downtown Transit Center
421 E. Weber Ave.
Stockton, CA 95201
STEP 2: Plan your trip using an RTD paper schedule.
Schedules may look complicated, but once you become familiar with them, they're really quite easy. Here's what you'll find in a schedule:
On the Outside of the Schedule
List of major destinations
On the Inside of the Schedule
Route map with major streets and destinations
Departure and arrival times for major stops along the route, based on direction of travel and day of the week
Tips for Reading a Schedule
- Open the schedule and locate the direction of travel and day of the week.
- Find the intersection closest to where you want to catch the bus.
- The bus usually makes stops between the major intersections listed on the schedule.
- Look down the column under that intersection to find departure times from that stop.
- Find the intersection closest to your destination.
- Read horizontally along the line that lists your departure time to determine when you will arrive at your destination. If no arrival time or (—) is shown, then that particular bus does not stop there. Look at the lines above and below for a bus that does make that stop.
- To plan your return trip, look at the reverse direction of travel on the opposite side of the schedule and follow these same steps.
STEP 3: Find your bus stop.
All bus stop signs are red and white and list all routes that stop at that location. Bus stops are generally located every few blocks along Local bus routes.
Hint: On many routes, the stop for your return trip will be located across the street from the stop where you got off the bus.
STEP 4: Verify your route and board the bus.
When you see a bus approaching, look at the electronic destination sign above the front windshield to verify the route number. To let the bus driver know you want to board, please stand and wait near the curb at the designated bus stop.
STEP 5: Pay your fare.
RTD offers two ways to pay your bus fare:
Exact change must be used when paying with cash. The driver will not make change.
Have your money ready before you board.
Insert your money in the fare box next to the driver as you board.
When riding Metro Express you must purchase a ticket at a Fare Vending Machine before you board. Fare Vending Machines are located at every Metro Express stop
Bus passes come in four types: 1 Ride, 1 Day, and 31 Day. Passes can be purchased online by clicking here, or the can be purchased at one of RTD's bus pass outlets, listed here.
When using a pass to board the bus, clearly show your pass to the driver as you board.
STEP 6: Get off at your stop.
Stay alert so you know when your stop is approaching. If you're not sure when to get off the bus, sit close to the front and ask the driver to call out your stop.
Signal the driver you want to get off the bus about one block before you reach your stop. Depending on the type of bus you're riding, you can signal the driver by one of the following methods:
Pulling the cord that runs above the windows.
Pressing the yellow strip to the side of the windows.
Pushing the button on the ceiling of the bus above your seat
The "Stop Requested" sign at the front of the bus will light up when you have activated the signal. When the bus stops, exit through the rear door if the bus has two doors. Wait until the bus pulls away so you can see traffic clearly before crossing the street. Do not cross in front of the bus.