Plan Your Trip

Are you new to TheRide or need help riding the bus? You've come to the right place! We have tools and resources to help you get moving. Riding the bus is simple once you understand the basics, so let's start there.

Explore Our Rider Tools

We encourage all new riders to get familiar with our online tools to help you plan your trip, track your bus, and more.

  • Trip Planning

    The first step to riding the bus is finding out how to reach your destination. Our Trip Planning tools will help you find the best way to get from point A to point B.

  • Bus Tracking

    Use the Track My Bus tools anytime you want to see where your bus is currently located. This can be useful if you're running late or your bus is delayed. 

  • Schedules by Route

    Get a custom schedule with daily departure and arrival times. We'll just need some basic information like your preferred route, travel direction, and travel day.

  • Sign Up For MyAlerts

    Want a more personalized riding experience? MyAlerts lets you select your favorite routes and receive notifications in your inbox. 

text my bus

Text My Bus

Wondering when your bus will reach your stop? TheRide's Text my Bus tool makes it easy to get real-time information!

  1. Locate the bus stop number on the route sign at your bus stop, or find it using our Bus Stop Lookup tool.
  2. Text AAATA, a space, and then the stop number. For example, if you are waiting for your bus at the Pioneer Park & Ride Lot, you'd text 41411 with the message AAATA 582.
  3. Receive estimated arrival times for bus routes serving your stop.

System Maps

Get an overview of TheRide's major service areas by viewing our system maps. These maps outline all service routes, transfer points, Park & Ride lots, and major points of interest.

You can also take a look at our entire collection of route maps and schedules.

Downtown Ann Arbor & U-M Campuses
Downtown Ypsilanti & EMU Campuses

Reading a Schedule

Not sure how to read a bus schedule? Here's an introduction to the major elements of a bus schedule and route map.

Sample Schedule Route 5 A B C D E F

Routes are usually identified by their route number (e.g. Route 5)

Routes are also identified by their name (e.g. Packard). Routes are named for the major streets and neighborhoods they serve.

Schedules will differ depending on the direction you are traveling. The route direction is usually toward downtown Ann Arbor (Blake Transit Center) or downtown Ypsilanti (Ypsilanti Transit Center).

Timepoints are major bus stops along each route. The bus will not leave a Timepoint until its scheduled departure time. If your bus stop isn't listed in the printed schedule, it is not a Timepoint. You can estimate its departure time by where your bus stop is located between two Timepoints, or by using our Track My Bus tool.

Sometimes there are slight route variations. Variations are parts of the route that travel different streets. It's important to know which variation of the route you need. Variations are displayed on the route schedule as letters (eg. 5A or 5B). You can also spot these letters on the front or side of the bus.

The route schedule lists the time when buses will depart from all Timepoints throughout the day. To plan a trip, find the nearest Timepoint to your bus stop and closest to your destination. Then choose what time of day you want to travel. You can also look up Schedules by Route.

Travel Training

TheRide offers travel training at no cost for seniors and persons with disabilities that need more help getting used to the bus. We can help you travel on your own with confidence. Call our training specialist to register at 734-794-1721.