The Tar River Transit System provides regular fixed-route bus service as an alternative method of transportation for the general public; complementary ADA paratransit service for individuals who have disabilities preventing access to the fixed-route service; and information on those services in order to facilitate travel and encourage the use of public transportation to help preserve the environment. For more information, click on the links below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much does it cost to ride the bus?
A: Full fare is $1.25; Seniors with Senior Tarheel Cards, Medicare Card holders, and Disabled individuals with SNAP cards ride for 60 cents; Children under 42" in height ride free (limit 3 per paying adult); transfers are free.
Q: Will the driver make change if I don't have the exact fare?
A: No. Exact fare is required. If you do not have the exact fare no change will be returned.
Q: Other than cash fare, how can I pay the bus fare?
A: Tar River Transit offers tokens and 10 Ride Cards. Tokens and 10 Ride Cards may be purchased on the first floor of City Hall in the Collections Division. Tokens are $1.15 each, and there is no minimum number to buy. 10 Ride Cards are $11.25 each and have no expiration date.
Q: When do the buses run?
A: The buses run from 6:45 am to 6:45 pm Monday through Friday and 9:15 am to 5:45 pm on Saturdays. There is no Sunday service.
Q: What time is the earliest bus?
A: The earliest buses (Hillsdale, Ravenwood, and Oakwood) leave the transfer center at 6:45 am.
Q: Where can I catch the bus?
A: The are many bus stops throughout the city. Bus stop signs have a picture of the front of a bus and white lettering on blue background. Stand at the stop, and the bus operator will stop to pick you up. For specific information about the stop closest to you, call the transit information line at 252-972-1174 (TDD 1-800-735-2962).
Q: Do the buses run on holidays?
A: Tar River Transit does not operate on the following holidays: New Year's Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
Q: I lost an item on the bus. How can I get it back?
A: At the end of each day, bus operators turn in all items left on the bus. You may call 252-972-1174 to see if we have the item. If we do not have the item we will take your name, address, and phone number so that if the items appears later we can contact you. If you are a regular rider and the bus operator recognizes the item you left behind, he/she will often hold it on the bus for you to pick up the next day.
Q: Where is the transfer center?
A: The transfer center is located at 111 Coastline Street (behind the YMCA on Church Street).
Q: Where can I get a bus schedule?
A: Bus schedules are at the transfer center, in the information display station on the first floor of City Hall. We can also mail you a schedule if you wish.
Q: How do I let the bus operator know that I wish to get off?
A: Each bus has a pull cord that runs along the top of the window on each bus. For individuals in the wheelchair securement stations there is a cord along the wall. Pull the cord approximately one block before you wish to exit the bus.
Q: I have looked at the schedule and realize that the bus I catch does not take me to my destination, but there is another bus that will. Do I have to pay a second fare?
A: Tar River Transit realizes that some trips will require a rider to use two (2) buses. When you board the first bus and pay your fare ask the operator for a transfer to the other route you need. Remember to ask for your transfer immediately. Transfers will not be issued at any other time during your trip.
Q: What happens if I miss my transfer?
A: If you miss your transfer because the bus was running late, either the driver will fix your transfer so that you can catch the next available bus, or Tar River Transit will make arrangements to get you to your destination.
Q: How do I know what route the bus is traveling?
A: Each bus has a destination sign on the front and right side of the bus that identifies the route the bus travels.
Q: How can I make suggestions or comments about the operators and/or service?
A: Click here to fill out our on-line comments form. If you prefer, you can call Tar River Transit at 252-972-1174, and let the person who answers the telephone know that you wish to register a public comment. Please leave your name, address, and telephone number and be as specific as possible about the incident. We will investigate the incident, and respond to you as soon as possible.
Q: The buses do not start earlier enough or do not end late enough for my needs. What other transportation options are there?
A: Private providers such as United Cab Company (442-4141), Rocky Mount Cab Company (985-1200), and The Shuttle Express (442-3382) may be able to help you.
Q: Are Tar River Transit buses accessible to individuals with disabilities?
A: Yes. Each bus has a wheelchair lift and two (2) securement stations and internal message signs.
Q: What happens if both securement stations are in use, and I am waiting at a stop?
A: If you are able to transfer from your wheelchair to a seat the bus operator will give you this option. If not, you will have to wait for the next bus.
Q: What happens if I am at the stop, and the lift is not functioning?
A: The bus operator will notify a supervisor, and arrangements will be made to send a vehicle to pick you up and take you to your destination. We will also provide return service if necessary.
Q: I am disabled and unable to ride the bus. What other transportation options are available to me?
A: Tar River Transit offers a complementary paratransit service called DARTS for individuals with disabilities that prevent them from riding the regular bus.
Q: I have never ridden the bus before. Is there someone who can help me understand the schedules and the routes?
A: Call Tar River Transit at 252-972-1174. Someone will be more than happy to assist you in using the system.
Q: How can I fill out an application to become a bus operator?
A: Bus operators are employees of a private company with whom the city contracts. You may either call 252-972-1174, or you may pick up an application at the transit office on the third (3rd) floor of the renovated Train Station, Suite 315.
Q: Will Tar River Transit do special charters for groups?
A: No. Due to federal regulations that govern federally funded transit systems, Tar River Transit can not do charters. The exception would be if the local charter providers in the area are unable or unwilling to do so. Before Tar River Transit will perform this service it will need the denial of service from each provider in writing.
Q: Who are local charter providers?
A: Coastal Plain Charter Service, Carolina Trailways, AT & T Charter Service, Inc., American Classic Charters & Tours, Inc., American Prestige Coach, Inc., Carolina American Tours, LaGrange Bus Co., and Northeastern Chartered Bus Service, Inc. Additional information on each of these companies can be found in the yellow pages of the phone book.