How to Ride a Max Bus
Want to know how to ride a MAX bus? What you can bring and what you can't? Not familiar with the rules of the road? Read up on what you need to know below.
The Six Steps to Ride MAX
Follow these six simple steps to become an expert MAX Transit Rider
Plan Your Trip
The Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority’s (BJCTA) current hours of operation are 5:30 am – 9:00 pm Monday through Friday and 6:00 am – 9:00 pm on Saturdays.
We do not offer Sunday service, although paratransit riders may call (205)521-0101 to schedule upcoming trips on Sundays during the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.
Our MyStop Trip Planner is an online tool that eliminates the need for paper schedules as it allows you to enter your intended destination and estimated time of arrival and locate BJCTA bus stops near you for a more efficient travel experience. The MyStop Mobile app offers the same features and can be downloaded on your Apple or Android devices for your convenience.
If you need more assistance, MAXs Customer Care Associates (CCA) are always happy to help! CCAs may respond to any inquiry regarding our buses and agency operations. Riders can reach a CCA by calling (205)521-0101.
Go To Your Stop
Arrive at your stop 5 minutes before the actual time the bus is due to arrive. Before boarding the bus, double-check the route number and name displayed above the driver’s windshield.
If you’re not sure it’s the right bus, just ask the driver.
Have Fare Ready
Passes to ride MAX buses can be purchased at the ticket office at Central Station located at 1701 Morris Avenue Birmingham, AL 35203.
You can also request tickets via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail. If you send money for tickets through the mail please print Attn: Ticket Sales and send it to Post Office Box 10212 Birmingham, AL 35203.
Acceptable forms of fare include a MAX pass or exact change. Operators cannot make change but will provide a change card in exchange for your surplus payment. This change card cannot be redeemed at Central Station but can be used on future trips. Standard fare is $1.50 for a one way trip or $2.00 for paratransit riders each time they board the bus.
Click the button below to view a full list of fare prices. Please ensure that you receive the correct pass before leaving the ticket counter at Central Station or if purchased on the bus, before being seated as refunds and exchanges will not be allowed.
Before boarding the bus, double-check the route number and name displayed above the driver’s windshield.
If you’re not sure it’s the right bus, just ask the driver.
Get On Your Bus
Riding the bus is easy; just follow these simple rules:
- Allow other passengers to get off before boarding.
- Board through the front door of the bus.
- You may sit anywhere you like, although generally seats near the front door are reserved for elderly and mobility-impaired passengers.
- You may carry on baby strollers, carts, and other small items; just make sure they don’t block the aisle.
If you need to access MAX by wheelchair, MAXs buses are equipped with wheelchair lifts. Guide dogs and other service animals are permitted on MAX vehicles. Please see Accessibility Information or call (205)521-0101 for more details. Click the button below for details on how to travel with your bike.
If you do not have a MAX pass, you must insert the exact fare into the farebox as you board. Fareboxes accept $1, $5 bills and/or coins, including $1 coins.
Day Passes are available on all buses and from Central Station ticket agents.Passengers making transfers to a second bus or needing to ride multiple buses should purchase a 2 Hour Pass or an All Day Pass. The fare structure lists prices for these various options.
PLEASE NOTE: Bus Operators cannot make change of any kind.
Get Off At Your Stop
About one block from your stop, pull one of the yellow plastic cables (next to the windows on most buses) or the silver cable (above the windows on other buses). This signals the operator that you want to get off at the next stop.
Exit through the front or rear doors. The Bus Operator will open the front door.
The MAX Rider's Code of Conduct
To help ensure the safety, security, comfort and convenience of all those who use our services, the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (MAX) created a policy to regulate conduct on MAX property. In simple terms, it's best described as the way to “ride right”. When you ride right, you will treat others the way you would like to be treated. You should show respect for your fellow passengers, the transit vehicles and facilities you use. Everyone benefits when you ride right. We take the Rider's Code of Conduct very seriously and our rules are enforceable by law. Those in violation will be asked to leave the MAX vehicle or facility and risk suspension of their privileges to use MAX transit or enter transit property.
Common Sense Guidelines
MAX Rider's Code of Conduct can be summed up with the following common-sense guidelines:
- Use of MAX services and facilities are for transportation purposes only
- Have the correct fare ready to pay (Drivers cannot make change)
- Riders must remain behind the yellow line, and stay seated or secure until the bus comes to a complete stop
- Do not lie down on the seats
- If standing on a crowded bus, move to the rear of the bus to make room for others
- Do not harass the driver or other riders
- Use headphones
- Respect other passenger’s privacy
- Respect transit property
- Do not cause safety problems
- Possession of any article defined as a weapon is prohibited on any MAX bus
- Inappropriate touching or inappropriate comment(s) will not be tolerated
- Soliciting money or distributing literature on MAX buses is not allowed
- No alcoholic beverages and possession or consumption of illegal drugs is prohibited
- No eating, smoking or littering. Use of MAX services and facilities are for transportation purposes only
We take the Rider’s Code of Conduct very seriously and our rules are enforceable by law. Those in violation will be asked to leave the MAX vehicle or facility and risk suspension of their privileges to use MAX transit or enter transit property.
How Can You Help?
Please remember that safety and security problems are treated with high priority. If you see a problem on the bus, tell the driver. If situations prevent you from alerting the driver and you see a serious crime being committed or a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 to report the problem when it’s safe to do so.
BE PREPARED to share the following:
- Bus Route Number
- Direction the Bus is Traveling
- Bus Number - this helps to identify the bus.
• Inside of Bus - coach number appears in the right front corner, opposite the driver.
• Outside of Bus - coach number appears on the outer corners. It is a three or four-digit number.