How To Ride Guide - English PDF File

Riding the bus gives you another way to get there that is safe, secure, and comfortable. Riding the bus gives you the personal opportunities of freedom of choice, more accessibility, and mobility options. Getting there starts here and transit can be your option wherever life takes you. This step-by-step "How to Ride Guide" gives you the opportunity to easily understand and feel comfortable using DART First State's over 50 routes to hundreds of destinations statewide.

Getting Started

The first step is that you must know what route you need to take to get to your destination. If you do not know the route or have a printed bus schedule, please use DartFirstState.com's Google Transit service or call DART First State Customer Service at 800.652.DART.

Let's say you want Route 1. You would then go to the Route 1 page on the website or consult the printed schedule labeled "1" on the schedule cover. After you have determined what route you need, you then have to determine which way you will need to go on the route and what day you are planning on taking the trip.

If you are planning a trip to the Downtown Wilmington from Tri-State Mall, you would need a Route 1 bus coming from Tri-State Mall going to downtown's Rodney Square and/or 4th & Shipley. You also decide that you will take the bus on Wednesday. Once you are on the Route 1 web page, you would click on "Weekday Schedule To Downtown". On the printed schedule see timetable labeled " Monday through Friday Departure Times - From Tri-State Mall to Downtown."

Reading the Printed Schedule

On the schedule, the column headings are labeled alphabetically to match the map symbols and are called time points. The time points are the times that the bus is scheduled to be at the particular location. You can use the time points to determine when the bus will be by a particular stop.

Now decide what time you need to be at your destination. Once you have done that, go to the schedule and look at what time the bus will arrive at your destination. Then go back to the left of that row until you find the time point closest to the location of where you are planning to get on the bus. The time in that cell will help you determine the time you need to get on the bus to reach your destination on time.

Bus Fare Information

Cash Fares Amount
Adults on Statewide Fixed Route
Rt. 45 spans 2 zones in New Castle County; fare is rate per zone)
$1.50
Adults Special Fares (Rts. 32, 62, 63, & 64) $1.00
Adults on Intercounty Routes 301 & 305 Per Zone $2.00
Adults on Intercounty Route 303 Per Zone $1.50
Children (Under 46 inches with a Fare paying adult.
No more than 2 children free per paying adult.
FREE
Daily Pass on Statewide Fixed Route
Rt. 45 spans 2 zones in New Castle County; fare is rate per zone)
$3.15
Daily Pass on Intercounty Routes 301 & 305 Per Zone $4.20
($16.80 4 & 5 zone)
Daily Pass on Intercounty Route 303 Per Zone $3.15
Elderly/Disabled Reduced Fare on Statewide Fixed Route
(Rt. 45 spans 2 zones in New Castle County; fare is rate per zone)
$0.60
Elderly/Disabled Reduced Fare on Intercounty Routes 301 & 305 Per Zone $0.80
Elderly/Disabled Reduced Fare on Intercounty Route 303 Per Zone $0.60
Blind (with DVI photo ID card) FREE

Daily Passes must be purchased on the bus from the driver and can be paid either with cash or a DARTCard, and are valid for unlimited rides on local buses for the day of purchase. Please request a Daily Pass from the driver before paying your fare.

Cash fares must be paid with exact change using coins and $1 bill(s). Drivers do not carry change. Valid SEPTA Weekly and Monthly TrailPasses are acceptable as fares on all bus trips within northern New Castle County. You can also pay your fare with an easy to use and cost saving DARTCard.

DARTCard Price Value Discount
Gold $9.60 $12.00 20%
Blue $12.00 $16.10 25%
Yellow $15.00 $21.00 29%
Green $30.00 $43.20 30%
Purple $35.00 $52.90 34%
Platinum $65.00 $108.00 40%
Red $14.00 * $46.00 * 70%
*Reduced fare for riders over age 65 or who have a certified disability

* Reduced Fare - Medicare Card or DART First State Reduced Fare ID is required for payment of Reduced Fares or use of prepaid Reduced Fare DARTCard. Reduced fares are for people 65 and over, or who have a certified disability.

DARTCards are a great way to save money when riding DART First State. With a $65.00 DARTCard a commuter can save 40% over the regular fare.

DARTCards are sold at DART First State fare outlets statewide. DARTCards are not sold on the bus.
Learn more information about DART First State Fare Outlets and their locations.

Bus Riding Information

To make riding DART First State safe, secure, and comfortable for all riders, please review our Bus Riding Information.

Pre-Boarding the Bus

Please wait by the DART First State bus stop sign** to board the bus. This will make the driver aware that you are planning to board the bus. It is highly recommended that you arrive at the bus stop five minutes before the bus's scheduled arrival so that boarding is as convenient as possible.

**Some of our bus stop signs have the route number(s) and name(s) of the route(s) they are on. This will help you determine if you are at the correct stop for the bus route you want.

Knowing Which Bus To Board

Some bus stops are on more than one route. So how then can you tell which bus is the one you want? You can be sure that you are on the right bus by checking the destination signs visible from outside the bus that indicate which route the bus is on and its destinations. One sign is located on the front of the bus above the bus windshield and the other is located just to the left of the front door at the top of the window. The sign will scroll different messages including the Route Number.

Boarding the Bus

Exact change is required on all DART First State bus routes. Please have your fare or DARTCard or pass ready before you board the bus. If you are paying a Reduced Fare (for elderly and disabled riders), please have your Medicare Card or DART First State Reduced Fare ID and your fare ready when boarding.

Please do not board the bus until all passengers leaving the bus have exited. Then board the bus at the front door and pay your fare. If you are paying a fare with cash, put your fare in the farebox. Our fare boxes accept $1 bills for your convenience (but not dollar coins). If you have a DARTCard, insert it in the fare box vertical slot and wait until it returns to the top, and retrieve your DARTCard for future use. If you want a daily pass, please ask for one from the driver before paying your fare. Then take a seat. The seats at the front of the bus are reserved for elderly and disabled riders so please observe this rule when finding a seat.

Boarding and Exiting the Bus using a Wheelchair

Wait for the ramp to be lowered. The driver will tell you when the ramp is ready for you to board. If you need assistance boarding, please request it from the driver. Some of our buses are equipped with a lift instead of a ramp. If you are boarding a bus with a lift, the driver will secure you to the lift and then raise you to the bus floor. Once on the bus, pay your fare and proceed into the bus securing yourself in those locations with either holding straps or clamps. If you need assistance securing your wheelchair, please ask the driver.

When exiting the bus in a wheelchair, push the yellow strip near your location to notify the driver that you wish to get off at the next stop. If this is difficult for you or you are unsure of where you would like to get off, tell the driver where you want to go when you board the bus. Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and for the driver to come to release you from all the safety devices. Please do not begin moving from the area until all other riders have gotten on or off so that the passage area is clear to exit. Move toward the front door and proceed onto the ramp after the driver indicates it is in the proper position. Move forward (facing away from the bus) on to the ramp slowly. Again, if riding a bus with a lift instead of the ramp, the driver will secure you to the lift and then lower you to the ground.

Riding the Bus

Be aware of where the bus is on the route so that you do not miss your destination. Please pay close attention to the driver's announcements and follow any instructions he or she may give you. Also, always follow Bus Riding Safety Practices at all times. For rider safety information please visit our Safety page. To alert the driver that you would like to get off at the next bus stop, press the yellow strips on the wall by your seat. Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and depart from the door that is nearest to you.

Always ask the Driver

DART First State drivers put our riders' safety and security first but our drivers are also ready to assist you if you have any questions (i.e. where to get off the bus, where to buy fare cards, and where 's my nearest stop, etc.).

Enjoy your trip, and thanks for riding DART First State!
Getting There Starts Here!