Public transit is a great way to commute to work. Sonoma County enjoys bus service from Petaluma Transit, Sonoma County Transit, Santa Rosa CityBus and Golden Gate Transit. Your employer may also be able to help out with pre-tax commuter benefits. Check with your HR department.
The first thing that you need to do when taking public transit is to see how close you will be to a transit stop, and how close the bus can take you to your destination. The 511 Trip Planner makes the process of mapping public transit routes easy and is a great tool for anyone who doesn’t want to spend too much time researching which routes are best for them. Google Maps also has a user-friendly option to see transit trips. And lastly there are many mobile apps available to access public transit information.
Discounted fares are available for students, seniors, the disabled, and for regular passengers. One-way fares are a set price regardless of how far you go on Petaluma Transit and Santa Rosa CityBus. Sonoma County Transit and Golden Gate Transit have zone-based fares (meaning that the further you travel, the more you’ll have to pay) which is why it’s important to check the benefits of different bus passes that the transit agencies offer. Check each transit company’s website for details on their fares and passes.
Now you can use the Clipper Card for all of your transit trips, so there’s no need to have cash in hand or carry multiple bus passes! Remember to tag on and tag off when using the Clipper Card on Sonoma County Transit and Golden Gate Transit so that you don’t get charged for the maximum zone fare.
Be sure to arrive at your transit stop in advance so that you can make sure that you have an easy time boarding the bus; sometimes the buses can be early or late, so it’s better to arrive early to ensure that you won’t miss your bus.
Tips and suggestions for taking the bus
- For safety and ease arrive at your bus stop early
- Flag the bus so they know you want to board
- Have the exact fare ready; bus drivers do not provide change
- If you need more than one bus to get to your destination, ask for a transfer
- As the bus approaches your destination, ring the bell by pressing the yellow strip so the driver knows to stop
Most buses have a STOP REQUESTED sign located in the front of the bus. This sign lights up when the “next stop” has been requested. You don’t need to ring the bell if someone else has already requested the same stop.