First time taking Calgary Transit? We can help! Everything you need to know about taking transit can be found right here!
We’ll help you learn:
- how to plan your trip from home to school and back
- how to check arrival times
- how to ride our system
- how to stay safe
- rider etiquette
- and much more!
The more you know how transit works, the more enjoyable your trip will be! You can also download this Rider's Guide in PDF version.
Plan a Trip
You can also call customer service at 403-262-1000 and ask them to plan a trip for you.
On the YYC Transit app simply enter where you are starting your trip from in “departing from” and where you are heading in “destination.” Use the time feature to select what time you would like to leave or arrive at the destination.
Schedules tell you when your connecting bus or CTrain is coming. You can check schedules using the Plan a trip page. Plan to arrive 10 to 15 minutes earlier than school starts to ensure you are on time.
One great tool of the YYC Transit app is the ability to track real-time schedules of the bus closest to your house through their onboard GPS. You should plan to arrive at the bus stop five minutes before your bus is scheduled to arrive because buses can arrive earlier or later than their scheduled time. Plan to be early so you don’t miss your bus.
You can also call or text the bus stop to find out bus arrival times. To call Teleride, dial 403-974-4000. For current bus times press ‘1.’ For future bus times, press ‘2.’ Enter the 4-digit bus number found at the bottom right of your bus stop sign.
If you prefer to text, you can use Teletext – 74000 in your message box, enter the 4-digit stop number (space) bus number then press send. You will receive a text message with the next three arrival times of your bus.
Other things to know:
Planned disruption information
By looking online, you can find out if there are major closures, construction, detours or planned service disruptions that can impact your travel time before you go. Knowing this information can help you alter your routing, if necessary, and select the best route for you.
Still unsure of how to get to a particular location or where your stop is? Our wide variety of maps can help connect you to where you want to go. Our overall system map outlines all the different routes in the city: where they start, travel and connect to. If you would like a more specific map, route maps are available to show where the individual routes lead to. All of our maps are available online on our website, and in printed version at our Customer Service Centres.
How to ride the bus
While waiting for the bus, remember to prepare for the weather. Check the forecast and dress appropriately for outdoor conditions. Most bus stops have bus shelters you can wait in, but just ensure you don’t forget to watch for your bus.
While you wait patiently, watch for the bus and stand up when the bus is close. Buses run on a schedule but they get caught in traffic just like everyone else, so they might be a few minutes behind. Have your bus pass or ticket ready so you don’t have to search for it.
How to board the bus
Please stand one, big step away from the road or curb while waiting for the bus. Standing on the curb right next to the road is not safe. You could be bumped into oncoming traffic or hit by the mirror of the bus. Please allow others to get off the bus before you get on.
As you climb onto the bus, show your pass to the bus driver or put your money in the fare box. To help you become familiar with riding transit, try saying hello to the bus driver and tell them what school you are riding to. They can help!
Where do I sit on the bus?
The front of the bus is courtesy seating for people with restricted mobility, mobility devices, seniors, parents with strollers, and expecting mothers. If someone needs the seat more than you do, please let them have it. It’s good rider etiquette!
Sometimes the bus can be full and there is no room to sit. If you have to stand, move to the back of the bus to allow more room. Taking off your backpack and keeping it at your feet also creates more space.
How do I know when to get off the bus?
We encourage you to practice your route so you get to know where you are. The best way to know when your stop is coming up is to look for landmarks. Landmarks help us know where we are because they do not change and are unique. It could be the Calgary Tower, a bridge, a restaurant or many other memorable places. When you see your landmark, pull the yellow cord or push the red button to signal for your stop. If you do not hear a bell’s ‘ding,’ look at the front of the bus to see if there is a display saying, ‘stop requested.’ Someone may have rung the bell before you.
If you don’t know where your stop is, it is okay to ask the bus driver
for help. They are there to help you!
Exit the bus through the back door when possible (this door is motion or touch activated; the driver does not open the door). Wait for the green light above the back door to light up, touch or grab the yellow handles/stripes and quickly exit the bus. After you have a few bus trips, this will be easy.
How to ride the CTrain
If you are starting at the CTrain, pay your fare at the ticket machine, or stamp your ticket in the purple validation box. This is good for 90 minutes. CTrains run every 3 to 5 minutes during peak hours and every 10 to 15 minutes in off-peak hours.
Let people who are already on board get off the train before you enter. If you need to open the door, wait until the CTrain has come to a complete stop, and push the green button on the door to open it. Find a seat or hang on as quickly as you can. CTrains also have accessible seating areas so please give up your seat if someone requires it more than you do.
The train will stop at every platform. Listen for the overhead speaker announcement of the stop or watch out the window for landmarks close to your stop.
Safety and security
Our priority is keeping you safe and on-time. Calgary Transit has many resources to ensure your safety on our buses and trains.
How we keep you safe
Uniformed Calgary Transit Peace Officers patrol the system, including our stations, buses and CTrains 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our dedicated Bus Response Unit patrols and rides bus routes to address and monitor safety concerns. Peace Officers also respond to calls for medical emergencies, disruptive patrons and lost persons.
Our stations, buses, and CTrains are equipped with security cameras recording audio and visual to enhance your safety. They are monitored by security staff that are in direct contact with our Peace Officers which can be dispatched quickly, or contact other emergency responders.
Our CTrain stations and platforms are all equipped with help phones for emergencies. The safest place to stand while waiting for the CTrain is beside a help phone.
Once the help phone is activated, you will speak with a member of our security team, who can provide assistance. Every CTrain car is equipped with an intercom system, which allows customers two-way communication with the driver in the event of an emergency. Once the help button/strip is pressed, you can speak with the driver directly and they will provide further instructions, call for assistance, or stop at the next station.
When a help button or phone is activated, our security team will be directed to the nearest camera to monitor that area. As mentioned above, our team is in direct contact with our Peace Officers and can dispatch them quickly, or call other emergency responders if necessary.
Look both ways for trains when crossing the tracks and obey all traffic signals, such as flashing lights and crossing arms. Do not jaywalk or run to catch a train, the next one will be along shortly. Always stay behind the yellow line on CTrain platforms.
Personal safety tips:
Be alert and aware of your surroundings.
Avoid distractions such as using a cell phone or listening to music
Remove headphones on platforms and at crossings.
Stay in areas that are well-lit.
Keep your purse, backpack or any bags zipped and closed, and hold them close and tight to your body.
Have your bus pass or transit fare accessible to avoid digging through pockets and purses.
Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.
Stand close to help buttons on CTrain platforms.
Sit near the front of Calgary Transit vehicles. This is the closest place to the driver.
If you have any concerns, notify a driver.
- Avoid travelling alone, if possible.
Call 9-1-1 if there is an emergency. An emergency is when there is an immediate threat to a person or property, or if there is a crime in progress.
To contact the non-emergency line, call 403-266-1234. A non-emergency incident is when there is no suspect and/or there has been a lengthy delay since the incident has occurred.
To contact Calgary Transit Public Safety and Enforcement, call 403-268-1412.
If you’re reporting an incident, you can assist by providing the following information if possible:
- mode of transportation (bus or CTrain)
- location (bus stop/station)
- direction of travel
- bus route number/bus number, CTrain vehicle number
If you lose something on the bus or CTrain, give us a call at 403-262-1000 or fill out this form.
Be a polite passenger
Taking public transit means that you will be sharing your ride with other people. Being considerate while on the system makes everyone’s trip more enjoyable.
Seats closest to the doors are for persons with disabilities and/or seniors. People appreciate you offering these seats to them. It’s worth remembering that some people have disabilities that aren’t always obvious. If someone asks you to give up a seat because they have a disability, please take their word for it.
No feet on the seat!
It’s good manners to keep your feet off the seats, but it’s also a bylaw that comes with a hefty fine. Remember to sit with your feet on the floor, not the seats.
Personal audio devices
If other people can hear music through your headphones – it’s too loud. Just think about what all that excessive volume is doing to your eardrums. For yourself, and for those around you, please – keep it down.
Food & drink
If you are going to eat or drink while riding the system, remember to keep it clean and don’t litter. Take your garbage with you.
Unless you want to share your conversation with everyone around you, please keep your voice down.
Rush hour could mean having to be in close quarters with other passengers. Deodorant can make all the difference. But be mindful — many people suffer from allergies to certain scents. Please apply any perfumes and colognes sparingly.
Make room for others
Our system can get very busy during rush hour and we do not want to leave people behind. When boarding a bus, move towards the back to allow space for others. When on the CTrain, move towards the centre of the train.
Smoking on Transit property is an offence and you can get fined (see Transit Bylaw4M81, section 14). Nobody likes secondhand smoke or seeing cigarette butts on the ground.
Dogs are welcome on board but must be on a leash. Other animals can also ride, but they need to be in a carrier or cage.
Keep doorways clear
In order for people to get on the CTrain, people first need to be allowed to get off. Before you board, please stand back and allow passengers to exit. When on the bus, please stand clear of the exit door and allow people to exit easily.
Backpacks, luggage, grocery bags & laptops
Your large bags can be a pain for people around you. Please remove your backpack and put it on the floor – especially when standing as it’s easy to bump someone. If seating space is limited, ensure that your personal items are not taking away seats from other passengers.
Thank you for choosing Calgary Transit! Together, we're going places.