Skip to Content

How to Read a Schedule

Finding the Right Schedule

  • The system map shows all SMART routes, but does not show specific information on times.
  • Once you know your route(s), pick up a schedule – they’re available at the SMART Transit Centers in downtown Detroit and Royal Oak, at various libraries, city halls and on our website.
  • Schedules show maps of the individual route and detailed timing information. Schedules usually show information for neighboring routes; for instance, Route 140 and Route 160 all travel near each other in the downriver area. As such, detailed information for all of those routes appear in a single schedule.

Reading a Schedule

Once you have a schedule, find your route, day of travel and direction of travel. For instance, Route 550, Weekday Northbound. The column headings in each schedule are timepoints, or major destinations along the route. In addition to these places, the bus does stop at other locations along the route. Find the timepoint closest to your destination. Look down to see when each trip arrives at that location.

For instance, you’re riding Route 495 from Detroit (northbound) on a weekday, and you need to arrive at 12 Mile & John R at 9:00 a.m. Look in the appropriate column, and see that a trip arrives there at 8:51 a.m. Look left in the same row to see when that trip leaves from the points before 12 Mile.

If there’s a bus stop but no timepoint, use the timepoint before your bus stop to determine the time of the pick up. For example, you’re boarding at 7 Mile & John R. Simply use the timepoint immediately before your bus stop to estimate the time. The trip shown above departs 6 Mile & John R at 8:31 a.m.; add a couple minutes to estimate when it will pick up at 7 Mile. Remember you should always be at your bus stop 5 minutes before your schedule pick-up time.

Coordinating a Transfer

If you need to transfer, you’ll need the details for all the routes you’ll be using. To arrive at your destination on time, work backwards. In other words, plan the last leg of your ride first and then figure out the other legs of your trip. For instance, it’s a Saturday, you’re starting at Van Dyke & Harper, and you need to arrive at 10 Mile & Dequindre by 1:00 p.m. You’ll need to use Route 510, and then transfer to Route 730.

  1. First, find a Route 730 trip that arrives on time. There’s a trip arriving there at 12:35 p.m. Look left, and see that trip leaves 10 Mile & Van Dyke (your transfer point) at 12:27 p.m.
  2. Now, find a Route 510 trip which arrives at 10 Mile in time to make the transfer. There’s a trip arriving at 12:21 p.m. leaving a six-minute window to transfer. That trip departs Van Dyke & Harper at 12:05 p.m.

For more information on how to transfer click here.

Determining your Fare

On most routes, a one-way ride costs $2.00. If you need to ride more than one bus, pay an extra 25 cents for a full fare transfer. Full fare transfers allow passengers to transfer to SMART buses within three (3) hours from the time the transfer is issued. Reverse riding on the route from which the transfer was originally issued is not permitted.

If you ride often, buy a SMART pass. You won’t have to worry about exact fares or transfers, plus you’ll save money over the course of the month.