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How to Ride the Bus


Because we work for AMTRAN and we ride the buses all the time, we sometimes forget that riding a bus for the first time can make people feel uncomfortable and maybe even a little scared. The following points might help. We wanted to answer the question: "If we were going to ride a bus for the first time, what would we do?"

How To Plan Your Trip

There are a couple ways to do this. The best way is to call us first! Call 944-4074 anytime from 6:30 a.m. till 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Tell the person who answers your call the following three things:

  1. Where you will be starting your trip (this might be your home address)
  2. Where you are going
  3. The time you want to travel. (For example, " I live at 806 2nd Avenue and I want to go the Logan Valley Mall at 10:30 tomorrow.")

The AMTRAN customer service person will tell what bus route, or routes, will get you where you want to go and when and where to get on and off. Don't forget: you will also need to ask about getting back to where you start. Most trips are "two-way!" They will also tell you how to get back to where you started.

Another way to plan your trip is to get an AMTRAN schedule for the route you will be taking. How to read an AMTRAN schedule is described below.

How To Catch Your AMTRAN Bus

You will get on the bus at the bus stop nearest to where you start your trip. AMTRAN bus stops are marked by green and white signs with "AMTRAN" printed across the top and a picture of a person getting on a bus. If you are standing next to a bus stop sign, the next bus that passes will stop for you. If you have planned your trip, you will know what route you want. Ask the driver if this is the right route. Ask, for example, "Is this the Eldorado bus?" The driver will either tell you that it is or when that bus will be at the stop. Walk up the steps through the open front door.

How To Pay For Your Ride

If you are riding for the first time, you will probably be paying for your trip with cash. AMTRAN drivers do not give change. You will need 1 dollar and 50 cents ($1.50) to get on the bus. Please don't forget that you will need that much to get back too! At the front of each bus is a fare box. (Payment for a bus ride is called a "fare"). When you get on, you will put your $1.50 in the slot at the top of the fare box.

There are other ways - what we call "special fares" - to pay for a ride on the bus. The Fares section of this website describes them. They are also described on AMTRAN printed schedules. If you have any questions about our other fares call us at 944-4074 or ask your driver.

How To Get Off The Bus

Above the windows next to the seats in most AMTRAN buses, you will see a cord hanging against the wall. This cord, when pulled, alerts the driver that you want to get off at the next stop. If you are unsure exactly where the stop you want to get off at is located, tell the driver when you get on, where you are going, and ask him to tell you when the bus arrives there. AMTRAN drivers know where all the stops are located. They will make sure you don't miss your stop. This is also what you should do if the bus you are riding does not have a pull cord.

How To Use More Than One Bus Route To Make One Trip

We call this "making a transfer." Most transfers take place at one of two places: the bus platform at the Transit Center in Downtown Altoona or the bus stop at Applebee's at the Logan Valley Mall. When you get on the bus the first time, tell the driver that you will be transferring to another route and ask for a transfer. You would say, for example, "I will be transferring to the Pleasant Valley route." Transfers are free at AMTRAN. Don't forget: if you have any questions - ask the driver!

How To Read A Schedule

AMTRAN schedules contain information about where a particular bus will stop and when it will stop. There is a schedule for each bus route that AMTRAN runs. When you unfold the schedule, you will see a "timetable." It is separated into columns. Across the top of the columns are names of streets or places. You read left to right - top to bottom. The time listed on the top/left is the earliest a bus will stop, and the time listed on the bottom /right is the latest a bus will stop. Schedules also give you the general area that a given route covers. They show you a map of the route and the fares for trips. They also give you the most important piece of information to know - our phone number! If you are unsure about anything, call us at 944-4074.