The Micro Bus
What exactly is The Micro Bus? Imagine a cross between an Uber/Lyft and a public transit system, now give it a defined service area with virtual stops every 1/4 mile, and there you have it! A more customized service than your average fixed-route, and an on-demand service using an app on your smart phone, website or by calling customer service.
The Micro Bus will provide service within the communities on the west side of Merced County including Gustine, Santa Nella, Los Banos and Dos Palos. It also connects to the LB Commuter fixed-route which travels between those communities.
* Please refer to the Micro Bus App to see the virtual stops.
Book your ride through The Micro Bus app!
Step 1. Download The Micro Bus app which is available for free on the App Store or Google Play by simply clicking the links below or by searching for "The MicroBus".
Step 2. Register and create your profile.
Step 3. Book your ride!
You can also book a ride by calling Customer Service at (209) 725-3813
Or simply click the "Book Now" button:
You've got questions, we've got answers. Lots of them.
- How much does it cost?
- $1.50 one-way – general fare/child fare
- Pay cash on board the bus, use a Transit “The Bus” pass, or on the app when you make your reservation
- As of October 29, 2021, ADA certified passengers, seniors, & veterans will be eligible to ride for free with Valid ID. Passengers must select fare type at time of booking or indicate they will pay on-board.
- What is the Micro Bus? What is its purpose?
- The MicroBus provides local rides within the communities of Dos Palos, Los Banos, Santa Nella and Gustine.Think of microtransit as a hybrid of an Uber and a public transit system within a defined service area with virtual stops every ¼ mile.Virtual stops can be added/modified by TJPA Staff. Requests should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Provides more customized service than a fixed route, by providing on demand services using an app on a smart phone, a website, or a call to customer service
- Provides paratransit services door to door, advanced reservations allowed for ADA certified passengers
- How does The Micro Bus Work?
- It is as simple as making a reservation!
- You can still call dispatch to schedule a ride; Call customer service at 209-725-3813 or 209-384-3111; or
- Download the app, or visit the website (book.themicrobus.rideco.com and create an account;
- Use the website or mobile app to book your ride when you are ready
- Can I still use the service if I don’t have a smart phone?
- Yes, you do not have to use a smart phone to book a ride. You can use the website to log into your profile and book a ride or call customer service to do it over the phone
- Can reservations be made only with the app? I am not tech savvy or don’t have a cell phone.
- No, reservations can be made via phone or website. please call customer service at 209-725-3813 or 209-384-3111 to schedule a pick up or visit: Mercedthebus.com
- Where do I catch the bus?
- Find the virtual stop closest to you. Set that as your pick-up location. The bus will arrive at that stop at your scheduled departure time. The bus will not pick you up at your door unless you are ADA Certified through Merced The Bus.
- Some locations will have physical bus stop signs and poles. Most will not.
- Stops should be listed on website and app. https://book.themicrobus.rideco.com/#/app/booking/search
- What are the operating hours?
- M-F: 6:00am - 7:30pm (last P/U time)
- Sat/Sun: 8:00am – 5:30pm (last P/U time)
- Can I ride the bus if I use a mobility device?
- Yes, all vehicles are accessible for persons using mobility devices. You may want to select that you have a mobility device if you need additional boarding time, at the time of booking your ride. Doing so will ensure you are comfortable boarding and not feeling rushed.
- What is the wait time?
- Wait times are anticipated to be 15-40 minutes for same day reservations, depending upon how high demand is at the time you wish to travel
- How far in advance can I schedule a ride?
- If you are ADA Certified, you can book a ride up to 2 weeks in advance, or same day
- Can I transfer to the Los Banos Commuter?
- Yes, transfers are free. Make sure to schedule your trip with enough time to assure you catch your next bus The Micro Bus will make its best effort to get you to the bus stop on time to catch the LB Commuter.
- What is the service area?
- The Micro Bus will provide service in and among the communities on the west side of Merced County:
- Gustine, Santa Nella, Los Banos, and Dos Palos
- Can I take my bike?
- Vehicles with bike racks are available upon request at booking. Be sure to let your reservationist know you will be taking a bike, if booking over the phone. There will be an option to bring your bike when you book through the app or website, this will be important to insure there is enough room for your bike, as each vehicle only has room for two bicycles.
- How do I know where my stop is? If it’s virtual, how do I know the exact location to wait?
- Map is listed on the app and there are additional instructions added to the pick-up that is seen by the passenger. i.e. “Instructions: lower parking lot on the south side of the building.” The stops will generally be located near/around intersections or landmarks. If you are uncertain of the location of the stop, customer service can help you locate the stop.
- How will the outreach work?
- Advertisements. Be sure to publish in Spanish news medias, and Spanish community groups.
- Route schedule updates at current stops
- Notices on the bus
- Website info
- If I need to get registered as ADA, how long of a grace period do I have?
- If you are new to town (new to Merced County) and have an existing ADA certification from a different county, we can use that card for up to 30 days. In that time you must become verified to utilize the ADA fares. Please contact ADARide at 1-877-232-7433 to get your application.