How to Read Bus Time Schedules


Getting around a strange city without a car can be a simple task when you're equipped with a map of the area's bus routes. A glance at a bus timetable can leave uninitiated riders scratching their heads trying to decipher a checkerboard of times and places. Finding your destination on the chart along with the time you want to arrive are the first steps to finding your way around town like a seasoned traveler.

The Basics

  1. Look up the route that runs to your desired destination from your starting point, using the bus route map. If there is no direct route, you might need to transfer to another bus along the way. 

  2. Locate the day of the week you wish to travel on the bus timetable, and find your starting point and destination.
  3. Find your destination on the timetable to find the time you wish to arrive there.
  4. Find your starting point on the schedule. Check what time you'll need to board the bus to reach your destination by the desired time. 

Read Up, Read Down

Some schedules list the destinations in a column, beginning at the bus barn or main terminal. Two columns of time points appear to the right of each destination, and these note the times that the bus usually arrives at each. Read down the left column of times for morning routes headed away from the main terminal. Afternoon stops the bus will make en route back to the main terminal are listed in the right-hand column and are read from bottom to top.


  • Let the driver know, either by pulling a cord or walking to the front, that your stop is coming up.

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