How to Ride Buses

What You'll Need
Step-by-step instructions

1Plan Your Trip

A Muni Hybrid Bus on it's way to deliver and pick-up passengers at Coit Tower  | May 20, 2013

Determine Destination

When you need to get somewhere on Muni, start with your destination to find what routes will take you there. You may need to transfer from one bus to another, which is free for 90 minutes after you purchase your ticket.

Next steps:

3rd St bus stop for 8X route

Find Your Stop

To begin your trip, find the intersection on a bus route nearest you. Bus stops will either have a shelter or yellow paint on a signpost or telephone pole (pictured).

Next steps:

Passenger using Muni App on his iPhone

Check Departure Time

To ensure your timely arrival, check when the bus will arrive at your stop. Remember: predictions are subject to change based on traffic and shift changes. You may avoid delays by choosing an earlier departure time.

Next steps:

2Get To Your Stop and Wait

Man waiting for bus at Muni bus shelter

Stay Safe and Secure

Sit in the shelter or stand near the curb. Do not wait in the street or block pedestrians on the sidewalk. In bus shelters with an LED display, estimated arrival times are posted for all active routes down to the minute. You can also push a button to hear spoken announcements.


  • Get there early! Buses and trains follow a specific schedule to ensure accurate travel times.
  • Be visible! Make sure the bus driver can see you.

3Board and Pay

Passenger boarding a Muni bus

Getting on the Bus

All buses allow boarding through the front and rear doors and are equipped with ramps or lifts. Be courteous to your fellow riders and wait until the passengers have exited before attempting to board.

More Information:

Passenger paying cash on bus

Paying Cash

Board at the front door and feed exact change into the meter with bills and/or change. We cannot refund your money if you pay too much!

More Information:

Passenger boarding bus holding transfer

Using a Transfer (Fare Receipt)

You may board at the front or rear door with a valid transfer. Remember, you must complete your trip before your transfer expires, even if it was valid when you boarded.

Passenger boarding bus paying with Clipper card

Using Clipper®

Tap your Clipper® card to the reader. There is a Clipper® reader at both the front and rear doors. Make sure it reads your card correctly—the reader will make a loud beep noise and show the balance remaining on your card. You cannot ride if you have insufficient funds.

Passenger Boarding a Bus using a Visitor Day Pass

Using a Visitor Day Pass

You may board at the front or rear door with a valid Visitor Day Pass or CityPASS®.

More Information:

4Follow the Rules

Cyclist loading bike onto bus bike rack before boarding bus


Most buses are equipped with bike racks on the front of the vehicle. If the rack is full, you must wait for another bus. Do not load a bicycle onto a full rack.

More Information:

Passenger using accessible area of bus with stroller

Strollers & Luggage


Collapsible strollers are allowed on all Muni buses.  Passengers with strollers may request the use of the lift/ramp and may leave strollers in the open position as long as the stroller is under their control and the wheel brake is set.  Children are allowed to ride in their stroller.  We recommend that the child’s seat belt be fastened.  Strollers may not block the wheelchair securement areas or interfere with passenger movement.


Muni allows smaller articles of luggage, which can be easily placed on a person's lap or out of the aisles, on board our vehicles.  Please remember to stow luggage so as to not interfere with passenger movement.

Man holds dog in lap while holding leash on bus


We welcome animals on Muni as long as their owners obey the rules: if your pet is not a service animal, you must pay a fare equal to yours for your pet. Dogs must be leashed and muzzled. Only one large pet is allowed per vehicle during off-peak hours; during peak hours, no large pets are allowed. Small animals should travel in a carrier. Service animals must be leashed and may ride free at all times.

More Information:

5Find a Place to Sit or Stand

Color photograph of colse-up view of graphic decals inside muni bus.  Decals are green and white showing a stylized bus with people figures walking to rear of bus and one figure holding triangle shape to illustrate holding on to hand straps in bus.  Another decal is blue with white lettering and symbols reading "Priority Seating" with a wheelchair shaped symbol and symbols for "man" and "woman" figures.

Find a seat quickly and move toward the rear of the bus if it's crowded. Be a good neighbor and show consideration for older people, customers with disabilities, pregnant women and families with small children.


  • Make room! Place bags on your lap or under your seat.
  • If you are standing, keep your backpack between your feet so you do not bump into customers behind you.

A customer is turning a pole as one step in making the first forward-facing seat sittable

If the first forward-facing seat is flipped up

If the first forward-facing seat is flipped up and the wheelchair space in front of it is not being used, customers may ask the Muni operator to lower the seat or lower it themselves.


Passenger holds onto hand holds on bus

Listen to the announcements. Pull the yellow stop cord along the windows of the bus to request a stop. Until then, enjoy the scenery! You'll be driving through one the most beautiful cities in the world.


  • Hold on! Buses may make sudden stops and cause you to lose your footing.
  • Be considerate! Try not to annoy others by talking loudly or on your phone.
  • Safety note: After 6:30 pm, you may request to be let off between most scheduled stops.
    • Tell your driver the street at which you would like to exit.
    • Remind the driver when you pull the request cord
    • This service is only available on buses
    • This "late night stop" service is not available at the following places:
      • Market Street
      • Ocean Avenue
      • Judah Street
      • West Portal Avenue
      • Lincoln Way on the Golden Gate Park side

7Exit the Bus

Passenger disembarks bus through rear door

Once the vehicle comes to a complete stop, exit through the rear door. Step down into the stairwell and press the bars on the door or the red button on the pole in front of the door to open the door.

One More Thing:

  • Have a great day, and thanks for riding Muni!