How to Ride
Metro Bus Metro Rail
Metro Bus and Rail is your public transportation system, providing a variety of services covering Erie and Niagara Counties. Metro Bus offers clean, comfortable buses on fixed routes and schedules. Metro Rail is a light rail rapid transit heart of downtown system operating across the Buffalo. We also offer MetroLink, with smaller vehicles serving more defined communities.
Metro schedules are available at the Metropolitan Transportation Center (the bus station downtown) or online. While online, try Metro’s Trip Planner, interactive system map and Where’s My Bus? Each feature helps Metro get you where you need to go.
Reading a Metro Bus Schedule
Each Metro bus route (and the rail) has its own schedule. Schedules include a map of the route and timetables. Route maps are not drawn to scale and do not show all of the stops or cross streets. When the bus route is depicted as a solid line, the bus will make periodic stops. When the line is dotted, the bus will not stop.
Timetables show weekday, Saturday or Sunday/holiday time points. Not all stops or time points appear in the timetables. You will need to estimate a time point between the major times indicated.
Metro schedules are printed as needed. They each have an “effective” date near the top. Schedules can stay in effect for morethan a year, in some cases. All
schedules are available online, in addition to other features that will help you use the system. We call it Transit Tools.
Finding a Bus Stop
Every Metro bus stop has a three-colored sign. To find your closest bus stop, check your schedule. It will tell you which streets
your bus travels. Then look for the bus stop signs along the bus route, located every few blocks. When the bus approaches your stop, be sure to stand close to the sign. You may, on occasion, need to signal to the bus operator to stop.
Boarding the Bus
Look for your route number on the lighted display on the front or curb side of the bus. If you are not sure it is the right bus, ask the bus operator. Please have your fare ready. It helps keep the system running efficiently.
Paying Your Bus Fare
Standard bus fare is $2 ($1 reduced) per boarding. When boarding a Metro bus, place your fare in the fare box next to the operator. There are three slots; coins, paper currency, fare cards. For cash fares, use the coin and paper currency slots. Metro passes need to be swiped through the slot on top of the machine (the magnetic strip goes through the fare box facing you) or shown to the operator.
Bus operators do not make change; you must have the exact fare when you board. Bus fare-boxes accept U.S. coins and paper currency only.
You may be eligible for reduced fares. Check Metro's Reduce Fare Application page.
Enhanced Express service makes fewer stops, so trips between origins and destinations are much faster. A 50 cent surcharge applies. On some routes, all trips are Enhanced Express, on other routes the letter “E” designates the enhanced trips.
Riding the Bus
Once you have paid your fare, take a seat if one is available. If all seats are full, move towards the back of the bus. Poles and overhead straps throughout the bus make it easy to stand while rid- ing. The seats at the front of the bus should be given to riders with disabilities and senior citizens, if present.
Signaling Your Stop
As the bus nears your stop, pull the cord or push the strip next to the windows. A bell will signal the bus opera- tor that you would like to exit at the next stop. Exit after the bus comes to a complete stop.
Rural Stops: If there is not a posted bus stop sign on a rural route, Metro bus service will be on demand. To board, you may need to signal the operator by waving. To exit, please pull cord and tell the operator where you would like to stop.
Bus Emergency Procedures
In the event of an emergency it is important to remain calm and follow these three simple steps for a safe evacuation:
• Wait for instructions - Your bus operator will provide directions and assistance.
Things to Remember
• Exit the bus in an orderly fashion - Use the doors. Please provide assistance to anyone with special needs. If the doors are blocked, you can exit the bus through emergency windows or the roof hatch.
• Stand clear of the bus - After exiting the bus go at least one city block, from the bus and wait for emergency services to arrive.
• When waiting at a bus or rail stop, be sure to stand far enough away from an approaching vehicle and allow passengers to exit a bus or rail car before boarding.
Bikes on Metro Vehicles
• Seats in the front of Metro vehicles are re- served for riders with special needs or elderly people. Only sit in them if you must.
• If there are no seats available, move away from the doors of the bus or rail car and find a suitable standing space. Hold onto one of the poles or overhead straps while riding.
• Drinking, eating and smoking are not al- lowed on Metro vehicles.
• Headphones must be used with audio devices.
• If you use a phone on a Metro vehicle, please use proper phone etiquette.
• Service animals are the only animals allowed on Metro vehicles.
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Metro Rail operates through Buffalo's central business district, starting at the University at Buffalo, ending at Erie Canal Harbor Station (downtown Buffalo). Metro Rail operates seven days a week. There are eight underground stations and five aboveground sta- tions, plus the Events Only Station.
Getting On the Train
Choose the boarding platform that offers the direction you want. Trains boarding from the INBOUND TO ERIE CANAL HARBOR platform head south, toward downtown. Trains boarding from the OUTBOUND TO UNIVERSITY platform head north, away from downtown.
Paying your Rail Fare
Metro Rail is free aboveground. Underground, you will need valid proof-of-payment. Metro Rail features self-service collection. That means there are no turnstiles or ticket agents. However, you must carry proof-of-payment.
Valid proof-of-payment can be a Metro Pass or rail ticket. Be sure to have it before you get on the train or go past the sign that reads “Proof of Fare Payment Required Beyond This Point.” Sometime during your trip you may be asked to show your proof-of-payment to a Metro ticket inspector. If you do not have it, you will be issued a summons and will be required to pay a fine.
Rail tickets may be purchased from vending ma- chines at all stations. A one-way rail ticket allows for travel in one direction and costs $2 ($1 reduced). A two- way ticket allows for travel to and from a location (round trip) and costs $4($2 reduced). Valid Metro Day, Seven Day, 30 Day and Monthly passes can also serve as proof-of-payment. Metro vending machines accept U.S. coins, $1, $5, $10 or $20 bills.
Riding the Train
After boarding the train, please take a seat. If there are no seats available, be sure to stand away from the doors and hold onto a pole or overhead strap.
Exiting The Train
Watch for the signs and listen to the announcements for your rail stop. Every train stops at every station and each stop is called.
Sunday Night & Holiday Service
For Sabres hockey games, and selected events at First Niagara Center, the last train departs the Events Only Station 30 minutes after the end of the event. Patrons may call (716) 855-7211, or visit nfta.com up to five days in advance of an event to learn if late service will be provided. Metro’s Route 8 Main bus also serves the center.
Rail Emergency Procedures for Passengers
In the event of an emergency it is important to remain calm and follow the steps below:
Park & Rides
• Wait for instructions - The train operator will provide you with instructions in the event of an emergency.
• Activate door releases - If you receive no re- sponse from the train operator during an emer- gency and need to exit the train, pull the release lever located adjacent to the door on the right hand side. After you hear escaping air, you will be able to slide the door open.
• Step carefully onto the Emergency Evacuation Platform - Make certain to grab onto the handrail for support and walk close against the wall. The platform is three feet above track level. Do not cross over to the parallel tracks.
• Exit to the closest station - Exit with the wind at your face walking into fresh air to the closest station.
• Listen - The public address system may be used to provide you with additional instructions.
Metro offers free Park & Ride lots strategically located around the region. All locations are listed online. Using a Park & Ride is simple: Park your car, board your Metro bus or the rail and pay your fare. Nothing else is required.
Rider Alerts are designed to notify riders of changes in service. They can be found on buses in the area near the schedule racks. Rider Alerts can also be found on our website or sent to you by request, using the Instant Update feature
Bikes on Metro Vehicles
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Above Ground Stations
• If you wish to avoid using steps, platforms with handrails are provided at each station. Please enter the first door of the first railcar on each train.
• When the train has come to a complete stop, press the large black button located at each railcar door, the steps will lower and the door will open. (The first door of each railcar opens automatically at the platform level).
NOTE: Emergency intercoms are identified by a red button near the center door of each car. Push the button and the operator will respond. This button is for emergency use only.
Elevator Shut Down Policy
In the event that an elevator is inoperable the following steps should be taken:
Use the “Call for Aid” panel by pressing the large red emergency button once. Tell the police officer your location and explain that the elevator is inoperable.
Metro Perk offers individuals the opportunity to purchase transit passes with pre-tax dollars through their employer allowing for an approxi- mate savings of 30 percent per month on public transportation costs. Sign up here.
Stay informed about Metro routes and serv- ices by subscribing to the NFTA Instant Update program. It's free. Sign up at nfta.com to re- ceive e-mail and text messages instantly. Sign up here.