Rules of The Bus

Passenger Rules

While riding on The Bus, please observe the following rules:

  • Allow passengers to get off the bus before you board.
  • Please use rear doors to exit when possible.
  • Do not block the free movement of others.
  • Shoes and shirt must be worn by passengers at all times.
  • Do not block aisles or place personal belongings on the beside you.
  • Strollers, carts, and other such items must be folded and stored under your seat.
  • Walkers must fold and be placed in front of passenger.
  • No Pets are allowed on the bus unless they are in an enclosed carrier/container and can be on your lap or stowed beneath your seat.
  • Please save priority seats at the front of every bus for seniors and disabled riders, you will be required to move.
  • Standing is permitted only when seats are not available (please hold the handrails provided for your safety)
  • Service animals that assist the blind or disabled are allowed. Drivers may ask to confirm what service the animal provides. The passenger will be responsible for any damage or soiling caused by the animal.

Service Animals MUST:

  • Remain under the passenger's control and behave appropriately at all times.
  • Remain at your feet or on your lap and may not sit on a vehicle seat.
  • Passengers are responsible for cleaning up after their service animal.
Behaviors that will not be tolerated and may be cause for immediate removal and suspension from The Bus per Public Utilities Code Section 99170 and California Penal Code 640:

  • Communicating with or causing a distraction for the driver while the bus is in motion
  • Refusing to swipe a bus pass or pay your fare when boarding.
  • Unsafe behavior in or around buses or bus stops.
  • Behavior creating a nuisance to the driver and other passengers.
  • Using profane language.
  • Smoking in or around buses and bus stops.
  • Committing or engaging in ANY behavior that may cause harm or injury to any person or property.
  • Expectorating upon a system facility or vehicle.
  • No music or audio devices may be played on the bus unless they are used with headphone at a volume that does not disturb the driver or other passengers.
  • Sale or peddling of any goods, merchandise or services.
  • Unauthorized use of a discount ticket or failure to present proof.
  • Urinating or defecating in a system facility or vehicle.
  • exposing of ones self or any time of inappropriate conduct
  • Eating or drinking is NOT allowed on the bus. Food or drinks are only allowed on the bus if they are in sealed containers.
  • Do NOT bring firearms on ANY bus.
  • Do NOT carry explosives, acid, or flammable liquids on the bus.
  • Do NOT vandalize or create graffiti in or around buses or bus stops. Vandalism is a crime and punishable with a fine (not to exceed $75 for the first violation and not to exceed $250 after a second violation) or jail sentence.
You have a responsibility to report any instance of vandalism, abuse, unsafe conditions, fraud or other problems you experience or observe to the Transit Joint Powers Authority for Merced County at (209) 723-3100. You will remain anonymous.


Authority for Prohibition Order

The Bus may exclude an individual from any or all parts of the transit system, as permitted by Public Utilities Code (PUC) 99171. In accordance with this authority, a person subject to a Prohibition Order may not, during the period of exclusion, enter or remain upon any part of THE BUS Transit System from which the person is excluded, except as permitted by the terms of the Prohibition Order.

A Notice of Prohibition Order may be issued by any member of management staff who has received training from THE BUS.

Length of Banning

The length of any Prohibition Order shall be no greater than those permitted under PUC 99171 (a)(2).
  1. First offense is for a period not to exceed thirty days for the first Prohibition Order.
  2. Second offense is for a period not to exceed 90 days fro the second Prohibition Order issued within a rolling one-year period.
  3. Third offense is for a period not to exceed 180 days for a third or subsequent Prohibition order issued within a rolling one-year period.

Enforcement Requirements

All banning's issued for prohibited conduct must be based upon probable cause, in determining whether there is enough evidence to justify a prohibition order. The transit system may rely upon facts resulting from their own personal observations, or reliable facts provided by witnesses or theirs.

Notice Of Banning

Every person that was engaged in conduct prohibited by PUC 99171 and will be excluded for such violations, shall be issued a Notice of Prohibition Order.

A copy of the notice must be delivered to the individual, in order to be deemed valid: the Notice of Prohibition Order must accurately denote the violation conduct and the date and time in which it occurred, and the duration of banning.

Right To An Appeal Hearing

As a matter of right, every person issued a Notice of Prohibition Order is entitled to a hearing. An individual who has received a Notice of Prohibition Order must contact The Bus by 5:00 p.m. no later than the 10th calendar day following the issue date. The administrative office may be reached as follows:

By phone: (209) 723-3100

In writing or in person at:
369 W. 18th Street
Merced, CA 95340

Hearings will be scheduled within 30 calendar days of the request.