Transit systems are a convenient resource for traveling throughout a city. They reduce dependence on automobiles by providing an alternative form of transportation. However, utilizing a transit system can be a complex process for a first time user. The following instructions detail the process of using the transit system, CyRide, in Ames, Iowa.
This instructable is for educational purposes only. All images used are property of CyRide and Iowa State University.
Step 1: Determine Origination/Destination
Your origination is where you start and your destination is where you intend to go. The origination can be determined by accessing a form of positioning such as Google Maps or Location Services on your cellular device. What you use to determine your destination depends on where you are going and how far you are willing to walk upon arrival at the closest bus stop. A CyRide map can be used to find both origination bus stops and destination bus stops.
Step 2: Find Bus Routes
Finding the route that you need to use is as easy as obtaining a CyRide map. When you look at the map, find the stop closest to your origination. Stops are indicated by small circles or squares next to or on a colored line. Once you have found the stop closest to your origination, check the color of the line; this line indicates the route you will use. Check the stop closest to your destination and determine the color of the line next to your destination. The color of the line coincides with the bus route that will be used. If there are two or more colors overlapping, check to see which of the routes stops closest to your destination. If there is another route that goes closer to your destination than the route at your origination you may need to transfer at a designated transfer point. Transfer points will be explained in the next step.
On the above image:
Red Circle = Origination
Yellow Circle = Transfer Point
Green Circle = Destination
Step 3: Determine Bus Times
The CyRide schedule is generally attached to the CyRide map. Each route has individual time points listed on the schedule. Not all stops are listed on the schedule and your stop may be one of them. In this case, you need to look at the time point that is before your stop. If you are transferring, you also need to look at the time point where the two routes intersect.
Regarding the above images, consider that you are taking Brown North from Wilson Hall at 10:14 AM and you want get to City Hall on Red East. Brown North arrives at Student Services/Upper Friley at 10:20 AM. Red East arrives at State Gym at 10:20 AM which is before Upper Friley. The driver will transfer you at Upper Friley so that you can catch Red East when it shows up moments later. This is an example of how a transfer works.
Step 4: Board Bus
Plan to arrive at your originating stop at least five minutes in advance of the arrival of the bus. When the bus arrives you will need to determine how you will cover the cost of your fare. Students with an ID ride at no cost while non-students need to pay $1.25. Board the bus and find a seat or stand if no seats are available. If you are transferring you will need to indicate to the driver which route you are transferring to. If you have paid with cash you will receive a transfer slip.
Step 5: Exit Bus/Arrival
While riding the bus you will need to keep track of progress towards your destination. When the bus approaches your destination, indicate that you need to exit the bus by pulling the yellow cord on both sides of the bus above the seats. There are also buttons that you can press if you are standing next to the doorway. If you are riding on the 21 Cardinal Route, you may ride a bus where you need to press a yellow strip as opposed to a cord. Make sure that you have pulled the cord for the proper stop otherwise the bus will stop at the incorrect location. There are multiple types of doors that may be used to exit. Each exit has specific instructions listed above or on the door regarding proper operation but for your convenience the types of doors that you may encounter are as follows: proximity doors and pressable door handles. There are two types of proximity doors. One type is a wave door where you must wave your hand in a specified area. The second type is a step down door that operates based on weight on the first step down. Pressable door handles are just as described where the user presses the door handle to operate it.
Step 6: Conclusion
CyRide is a useful means of transportation throughout the Ames community. Effective utilization of the services that CyRide provides can be considerably more convenient than personal transportation options. This guide is an easily accessible resource for proper use of CyRide's services.