Planning Your Trip

Trip Planning Options

  • Create and print your own custom itinerary using our Google Transit Trip Planner
    • This is a service provided by Google on their own website, utilizing current data provided to them by Santa Cruz METRO
    • It can be launched from our home page for convenience, and leads to a separate browser (or browser tab) for ease of returning to our website
    • Learn more about it here
  • Use the METRO System Map and zoom into as much route detail as needed (play with Map, Satellite Views!)
  • Pick up a free quarterly Headways - Bus Riders Guide to carry with you, and plan your trip using the Maps, Route Locator, and instructions provided within
  • Be sure to check our Service Calendar and News Bulletins to make sure the trip that you intend to ride is operating that day
  • Need route and schedule information? Call Customer Service during business hours

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Helpful Tips for Reading a Metro Headways - Bus Riders Guide

  • Schedules

    • Every METRO route consists of a timetable combined with a map, which is the schedule
    • Each bus stop displays the schedules of each route served by that stop
    • The Headways -Bus Riders Guide  contains all schedules. These schedules are also avalable  on wall posters at Transit Centers
    • The website also offers printable publications for each route, wherever you see this icon adobe acrobat

 

  • Route Titles

    • The heading of a timetable and its map consists of a route number with a route title
    • This route number and title is similar to the destination sign of the bus
    • A title that includes School-Term Only indicates that the entire route runs only when related schools are in session

 

  • Service Frequency

    • A Service Heading labeled Daily  means that the same service schedule runs seven-days-a-week
    • The Weekday Service Heading is labeled Monday - Friday (Mo-Fr)
    • The Weekend Service Heading is labeled Saturday - Sunday (Sa-Su)
      • Each route may operate either or both weekday service and weekend service
      • A route that operates both may either show a combined timetable  or show separate weekday and weekend tables when they are too large to combine
    • Holiday Service:
    • Night Owl 
      •  Weekday Service is labeled Sunday - Thursday (Su-Th)
      •  Weekend Service is labeled Friday - Saturday (Fr-Sa)

 

  • Timetables

    • Timetables consist of a Route Title and a table in which Timepoint locations are the column headings, followed by rows of trips 
      • Timepoint locations are major bus stops described in the column header and symbolized with capital letters (A, B, C...) These letters correspond to locations on the Route Map and System Map
    • Each row across the timetable follows that particular trip, showing the departure timepoint and location, and the arrival timepoint and location of the route's destination.
      • In between timepoints, there are usually more stops, which are shown on the maps, but are NOT shown in the timetable
    • A dash ( -- ) in place of an actual timepoint means that timepoint location is not served on that trip
    • Footnotes are sometimes shown under a timetable to convey additional information regarding that route or certain trips or timepoints on that route
    • To estimate when your bus will arrive at your location, reference the closest major timepoint (A,B,C...) described in the column header
    • Google Transit trip plans will always calculate and display a stop's passing time for you

 

  • School Term (ST) Trips vs School Term Only Routes

    • Some routes designated School Term Only  in the Route Title , run when related schools are in session. The School Term Calendar always includes the route schedule when applicable 
    • Some routes have special trips marked with School Term (ST) in the timetable, indicating that particular trip only runs when related schools are in session  

 

  •  Stops

    • All bus stops are indicated by either a dot or a timepoint letter on the maps (see below)
    • Within certain technical limitations, all timepoint locations will be announced by the automated Call Stop Announcement System

 

  • Online System Map

    • The interactive Google Map on our website is called our System Map
    • It allows you to zoom in/out and see the context of the route including all stops and timepoints
    • Timepoints are shown as dark blue "pushpins" with bold white capital letters (A,B,C...)
    • Stops are shown as red dots with a bold yellow border and are clickable for more detail
      • To quickly zoom in to see a stop, click on it an choose the link "Zoom to location"
    • Switch from Map, Satellite, and Terrain views to actually see where stops are located in relation to known landmarks, buildings, steets, roads and elevation
    • Zooming in and out and panning can be done by using the map controls in the upper left
      • a double click will also zoom in one level, but this won't work while clicking on the route line, or the stops/timepoints
      • dragging the mouse (holding the mouse btton down while moving it over the map) will pan around the map while staying at the same zoom level
    • Use the Google traffic layer checkbox to show or hide a live traffiic overlay provided by Google
      • green lines mean traffic is flowing well
      • slower traffic ranges from yellow to red
      • road incident symbols also appear and are clickable for details

 

  • Route Maps

    • Route Maps are designed as the official "print version" map included with each route schedule and contain more detail than the System Map
    • A legend explains the symbols used
    • A solid dark-blue Route line shows the path of all trips
    • A dashed or styled dark blue Route line shows the path of selected trips which deviate from most trips and are explained in the text boxes in the map
    • White triangular directional arrows indicate the path of travel along the route
      • a double arrow indicates that the route travels in both directions along that segment of the route
    • Timepoints are shown as dark blue "pushpins" with bold white capital letters (A, B, C...)
    • Stops are shown as pale yellow dots with a thin black border