Riding the Bus

Trip Tips & General Smart Way Etiquette

Smart Way bus operators love safety-conscious, responsible riders. Gear up before you get carried away with some helpful trip tips.

Do’s & Don’ts

  • Be prepared. Please have exact cash fare or your Smart Way tickets in hand before boarding and place it in the fare box before finding a seat.
  • Please do no eat or drink on the bus.
  • Smart Way is a smoke-free environment. This includes carrying a lit cigarette, pipe, matches, or lighter.
  • No spitting.
  • Please be respectful of others. Disturbing passengers or bus operators by engaging in loud, unruly behavior is not permitted. This includes unwanted touching of individuals, use of foul language, verbal, racial or sexual harassment.
  • Help keep Smart Way clean. Please dispose of trash in designated receptacles before boarding the bus.
  • When listening to tapes, radios and CD players, please use earphones with the volume set at levels that do not disturb fellow passengers.
  • Report vandalism. Defacing Smart Way bus property is strictly forbidden by law.
  • Please keep personal belongings on your lap or at your feet. Blocking aisles is not permitted.
  • Respect fire safety. Flammable liquid, explosives, acid or other harmful materials are not permitted onboard.
  • Service animals trained to assist persons with disabilities are welcome.
  • A responsible person must accompany children under the age of eight (seven and younger). A responsible person is defined as one who can directly control and supervise the child.

How It Works

Most bus routes meet at a centralized transfer point in downtown Roanoke (the exceptions are routes 91 and 92). The transfer station is the Thrid Street Station, Smart Way’s Transportation and Information Center. You may purchase weekly or monthly passes at the Third Street Station, which is located at 325 Salem Avenue SW, or dial 982-2222 for schedule and route information. Most Smart Way buses run at half hour intervals during peak commuting hours, and at one hour intervals during the off-peak hours between 9:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m., and after 6:45 p.m. So from 5:45 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., and from 3:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., a Smart Way bus comes along every half hour. You can catch the bus at the Third Street Station, or at any of the Smart Way bus stop signs located about every two blocks along each route. Refer to the map and time schedule or call the Information Center to find out when the next bus will be coming nearest your location.

While You Wait

  1. Our goal is to be on time. Arriving at your bus stop no later than 5 minutes before your bus is scheduled for pick up, helps insure you will not miss your bus.
  2. Make sure the bus route number you want is listed on the sign located on the top front of the bus.
  3. Please stay on the sidewalk while waiting for the bus. Under no circumstances should you wait in the street as your bus approaches.
  4. Please be patient. Operators will open bus doors once the bus has come to a complete stop.

As You Board

  1. Please wait until exiting passengers have stepped off the bus before boarding.
  2. Take care while boarding by using handrails for assistance. Bus steps and sidewalks may be slippery due to rain or snow.
  3. Please have exact cash fare or your Smart Way ticket in hand before boarding

Take A Seat

  1. Please do not hesitate in locating a seat.
  2. Standing on bus steps while the bus is in motion is not permitted.
  3. Please remain seated until the bus comes to a complete stop.

Reached Your Destination

  1. About one block before your destination, signal the operator that you want to get off the bus by pulling the bell cord once.
  2. Please remain seated until the bus comes to a complete stop.

As You Exit

  1. Please check your belongings and the seat around you once the bus has come to a complete stop. Smart Way is not responsible for any items or articles left on the bus.
  2. Take extra precaution while exiting by using the handrails for assistance.
  3. Please do not step between the bus and the curb when exiting the bus.
  4. To avoid injury, step away from the bus and never cross the street in front of the bus.

Transferring to Another Bus Route

  1. Free transfer slips are available for passengers who need to take more than one bus route to reach their destination. Ask the operator on your first bus for the transfer slip when you pay your fare.
  2. The transfer slip is good for 30 minutes after the time your first bus reaches the end of its route. This transfer slip is only valid at the Third Street Station transfer center, or at a connecting end-of-the bus line.