Everyone knows someone who needs PARTA… but have you ever been interested in riding yourself? We understand that riding a bus for the first time can be daunting – reading a schedule, finding your way home, or even figuring out how to purchase and use fare.
That is why our Travel Training Program teaches how to:
Use PARTA fixed route and Dial-A-Ride services
Read schedules and plan and book a trip
Locate and transfer to other buses
Pay fares and purchase tickets and passes
PARTA‘s Fixed Route service consists of buses that travel along designated routes and stop at specific locations and times. Schedules for each route are available either in a printed format or online. All PARTA‘s Fixed Route buses are accessible with space for two wheelchairs and are equipped with bike racks. Fixed Route services operate on weekdays, with limited weekend service on selected routes.
The Fixed Route is the easiest, most affordable and economical bus service. Below is a guide to help you ride PARTA.
BOARDING THE BUS
Be at the nearest bus stop at least 5 minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
If the approaching bus shows the route number and destination you want, signal the driver by waving your hand to indicate you would like to board.
Upon boarding, pay your fare with exact change or swipe your pass.
You may also purchase extended passes such as an all-day pass or refill your 10-ride pass at this time.
EXITING THE BUS
When possible, please exit at the rear doors to help eliminate congestion at the front of the bus while new riders are boarding.
TIPS & FACTS
To keep the bus running on time, please have bus fare or pass ready before you board.
Please occupy seats furthest away from front doors first so others may board quickly.
Only occupy one seat and rest your bag or briefcase on your lap or under your seat.
Buses can accommodate standing passengers. If standing, please maintain a firm grip on a railing or seat handle.
HOW TO RIDE
HOW TO FIND YOUR ROUTE
USING PARTA SCHEDULES
Choose the schedule online or in print (available at Kent Central Gateway, PARTA offices, Portage Medical Center (formerly Robinson Medical Center), Portage County Administration Building (PCAB).
Locate your point of origin on the bus route and your destination.
You may need more than one schedule to get you from point “A” to “B” requiring you to make a transfer.
In extreme cases, you may need to take one route to a second route, and then transfer to your final route.
You will need to pay an additional fare for each transfer. Check out tickets & passes to find out information about PARTA‘s fares.
Now that you know your route number, check out “How to Read a Schedule” to determine your pick-up and drop-off times.
USING THE TRIP PLANNER
Type in your starting address and your ending address.
Enter in your leave by or arrival time.
Then press “Get Directions”.
This will take you to an itinerary with possible options and a map to show you which bus you should board, when to transfer, and give you a map of where you are going.
CALLING CUSTOMER SERVICE
When calling Customer Service at 330-676-6701, please have the following items ready:
Your starting and ending address and closest major intersections
Arrival or departing time
Pen and paper
HOW TO READ A SCHEDULE
Finding the Right Schedule
Schedules are available at Kent Central Gateway, PARTA Main Offices, Portage County Administration Building, UH Portage Medical Center (formerly Robinson), and our website.
Schedules show maps of the individual routes and detailed timing information.
Schedules list the cities where they will be traveling, as well as service areas and stops. Use these as a guide to help determine which schedule(s) you will need.
Reading a Schedule
Once you have a schedule, find your route, day of travel, and direction of travel. For instance, Suburban South, Route 45. The column headings in each schedule are timepoint, or major destinations along the route. In addition to these places, the bus does stop at other locations along the route. Find the timepoint closest to your destination. Look down to see when each trip arrives at that location.
For instance, you’re riding the Raven West, Route 80, on a weekday and you need to arrive at the Social Security Administration Office by 11:45 a.m. Look in the appropriate column and see that a trip arrives there at 11:45 a.m. Look left in the same row to see when that trip leaves from the points before the Social Security Administration.
If there’s a bus stop, but no timepoint, use the timepoint before your bus stop to determine the time of the pick up. For example, you’re boarding at W. Main Street and Sycamore Street. Simply use the timepoint immediately before your bus stop to estimate the time. On the trip shown above, the bus is not likely to get to The ROC (which is the stop immediately before) until 11:38 a.m. Therefore, you should be at your bus stop at 11:40 a.m. – 5 minutes before your bus is scheduled to arrive.
Coordinating a Transfer
If you need a transfer, you’ll need the details for all the routes you’ll be using. To arrive at your destination on time, work backwards. In other words, plan the last leg of your ride and then figure out the other legs of your trip. For instance, it’s Friday, you are starting at Silver Meadows Blvd. and you want to get to Akron by 10:45 a.m. You’ll need to use the Interurban West, Route 30, and then transfer to the Akron Express, Route 90.
1. First, find an Akron Express, Route 90, that arrives on time. There’s a trip that arrives there at 10:30 am. Look left, and see that trip leaves Kent Central Gateway (your transfer point) at 9:30 am.
2. Now, find an Interurban West, Route 30, that arrives at Kent Central Gateway in time to make the transfer. There’s a trip arriving at 9:14 a.m., leaving a 16 minute window for the transfer. That trip departs Silver Meadows Blvd. at 9:04 am.
Determining your Fare
On most routes, a one-way ride costs $1.00. If you need to make a transfer to more than one bus, you will be required to pay an additional $1.00. If you believe that you will be traveling a lot in one day, it would be best to purchase an all-day pass from your driver for $2.00. This will allow you to travel all day (except on Akron and Cleveland Express Routes, which is on a set fare). Visit our tickets & passes page to learn more about fares and information about reduced fare pricing.
YOUR BIKE RIDES FOR FREE ON PARTA
All PARTA Fixed Route buses are equipped with easy-to-use bike racks that can quickly secure up to two bicycles.
Please know that the cyclist, not the bus driver, is responsible for all aspects of placing, securing, and removing your bicycle. Bus drivers are familiar with the use of the bike racks; however, they cannot physically assist riders with the placing of bicycles on the racks. PARTA is not responsible for loss or damage to personal property such as bikes, accessories, and other equipment.
When not in use, the bike rack folds up against the front of the bus. Below are the following steps needed to assist riders:
Pull Handle up to release
and lower rack
Lower the rack before placing the bike up on the rack. Squeeze the silver release lever by pulling the silver handle upward, and then gently lower the rack to the horizontal position.
Place your bike on the rack
Place your bike on the rack in the location closest to the bus with the front wheel and the handlebars towards the curb. If a bike is already on the rack, the front wheel and the handlebars should be facing street side, away from the curb.
Pull hook out and over tire
Pull out the curved spring-loaded swingarm, lift up over the front tire and place the hook as close as possible to the bicycle’s head tube. Now that the bike is secure, please enter the bus.
Upon exiting the bus, be sure to inform the coach operator that you will be removing your bike from the rack. Remove the bike by first lifting the hook and swinging the spring-loaded back down to the original position.
Lift the bike up off the rack. Pull handle out to fold rack. If no other bikes are on the rack, be sure to fold the rack back to the upright, vertical position. Step to the curb and wait for the bus to pull away.
SAFETY & TIPS
When loading and unloading, maintain as much eye contact with the operator as possible.
Remove or secure water bottles, pumps, or any loose items that might fall off.
Be sure to load and unload bikes toward the curb. Do not expose yourself to traffic when loading and unloading.
When deboarding the coach, please remind the operator you are going to be removing your bike from the rack.
Avoid kneeling or squatting out of the operator’s line of sight.
Wait until the bus moves away before riding your bike.
There is no additional fare for bikes.
The rack will NOT accommodate tandems, tricycles, or recumbents.
Each bus carries two bikes at a time on a first-come first-serve basis.
The driver cannot get off the bus to assist you, but he or she can give you instructions.
Bikes in the racks do not touch other bikes, the bus, or other vehicles.
Bikes are transported at the owner’s risk.
Bikes may not be locked on the rack.
Cyclists must be able to load and unload their bikes without assistance
PARTA is not responsible for bikes that are stolen, left on racks or damaged due to improper loading.
HOW TO USE THE FAREBOX
PARTA offers a variety of ways to pay your fare through our electronic farebox.
1. Have exact change ready! (Change will not be made through the farebox.)
2. The Electronic Farebox accepts US currently and coins (no pennies please).
3. Drop coins in the top right of the machine or place bills on the bottom right of the machine.
DAY PASSES & TRANSFERS
1. Must be purchased with cash – exact change is required.
2. Insert your coins or bills into the farebox.
3. Get a ticket.
4. Transfers are only available to and from Akron METRO
5. Swipe passes and transfers along the reader at the top of the machine.
PARTA SMART CARDS
1. Small, reusable plastic cards, which stores and processes 10-ride or 31-day passes.
2. Touch the card to the Smart Card symbol/PARTA logo to use on fareboxes.
3. Purchase for $1 with first time purchase of a 10-ride or 31-day pass.
4. Re-load at no additional cost with the purchase of a 10-rides or 31-day pass.