Seattle has more than its share of homeless people, but the buses are not moving homeless shelters, and the bus drivers are friendly and helpful. Buses are slower than Link light rail. Link trains are mostly in underground tunnels with no view. While riding a bus you are at street level in traffic but you can look out the windows at the streetscape. The fare is $2.50 per person or $2.75 during rush hours. A sign on the fare box at the entrance to the bus will indicate the fare to pay. There are two ways to pay :
Pay Cash : When you board the bus, feed bills or coins into the fare box machine at the entrance to the bus. The bus driver does not give change. For example, if the fare is $2.50, you can feed the machine two $1 bills and 2 quarters. If you feed the machine three $1 bills you will not receive change. If there are two of you, one $5 bill would cover the fare. The bus driver will offer you a slip of paper known as a "transfer". It permits you to transfer to ride another bus within 2 hours without having to pay another fare.
ORCA Card : Tap your ORCA card on the card reader at the entrance to the bus and the fare is charged automatically. If there are two of you, and only one ORCA card, tell the driver, and the driver will tell you to tap the same ORCA card twice. You will not receive a paper transfer, however the ORCA system will allow you to transfer to another bus within 2 hours without additional charge.
As a bus approaches the bus stop where you are waiting, read the destination signs on the front and side of the bus. These signs will show the route number and where the bus is going. Make sure you are getting on the correct bus. Everyone boards the bus through the door at the front of the bus. Riders should exit through the rear door(s) of the bus.
Bus riders notify the bus driver that they would like to exit the bus at the next stop by pulling the metal cord located between and above the bus windows. Pull the cord about a block before the bus stop. If others are on the bus with you, chances are one of them will pull the cord. Pulling the cord rings a bell and lights the "Stop" sign above the bus driver. If you are unfamiliar with the area, ask the driver to assist you. Most buses have automated 'next stop' displays and announcements, but if not, the driver will call out major stops, but not every stop.