Frequently Asked Questions
Where do COAST buses go (in general)?
COAST routes connect in and between a total of thirteen communities in Seacoast New Hampshire and southern Maine.
Each route runs on its own schedule. Please visit each route's schedule page for more information about that route.
Where can I get on the bus?
To find the bus stop nearest you, use our Trip Planner. COAST buses will only pick up or drop off at designated bus stops.
To view a full list of all our bus stops on a specific route, visit that route's schedule page.
On each route schedule page, there is a full list of stops along that route. Once on the route schedule page, click the plus sign to see the expanded view of all bus stops.
How do I read the schedule?
COAST bus schedules read from the top of the schedule to the bottom. Each column represents a trip of the bus, proceeding along the route from the top of the column to the bottom of the column, and passing each stop in that order.
COAST's printed bus schedules only show times for certain major bus stops. In between those major bus stops are many other stops that you can use.
To view a full list of all our bus stops on a specific route, visit that route's schedule page on the COAST website. Click the plus sign to see the expanded view of all bus stops.
Most COAST bus stops are named for the street they are on, followed by what the nearest intersection or point of interest is. For example, "Central Ave. (CVS Pharmacy)" is a popular Route 2 stop, located on Central Avenue near CVS Pharmacy.
What if I need help learning how to ride the bus?
For many people, using public transportation for the first time can seem overwhelming.
COAST provides Travel Training to groups of seniors and individuals with disabilities who live in communities along the bus route. Our goal is to increase independence and remove any concerns that people may have about riding the bus.
You can also call us at 603-743-5777, Option 1 between the hours of 5:00 AM and 10:00 PM, Monday - Friday, and our staff will be happy to help you.
How do I know the bus will pick me up?
The driver will stop if they see someone waiting at the bus stop. It helps to move around a little bit or wave as the bus approaches. If it is dark outside, wave a lit cell phone or flashlight to signal the driver to stop. Don't stand behind a telephone pole or other objects.
If you are not standing near a bus stop sign, the bus may not stop and pick you up. If you choose to wait inside a nearby building, make sure you come out to the stop five minutes before the scheduled stop time, or you will most likely miss your bus.
Will the bus turn around if it passes me by at a stop?
Whether the bus will turn around or not depends on our Fixed Route Missed Customer Policy.
Last Run of the Night: If a bus is the last bus on that route that day, and a customer calls within two (2) minutes of a bus passing them by at a stop, then dispatch will either send the bus back for the customer, or will send another vehicle to complete their trip. If the customer calls more than two (2) minutes after the bus passed them by at the stop, the request will be treated like such a request on all other runs.
All Other Runs: In all other circumstances COAST fixed route buses will never return for any customer who calls saying the bus passed them by. COAST staff will later review the on-board video. If the report was found to be valid, and the bus did pass a customer who was visible and waiting at a stop without us stopping to pick them up, then COAST will send that customer four (4) free single-ride tickets, provided the customer provides us with sufficient information to have them delivered.
How do I make sure the bus will stop at my destination?
COAST buses will only stop at COAST bus stops, but they do not automatically stop at every bus stop. For example, if a driver does not see anyone waiting at a stop, and a stop has not been requested, the driver will continue along the route without stopping.
When the next stop is the stop you want to use, you must signal the bus to stop.
When you want the next stop, please signal the bus to stop as soon as possible. To request the next bus stop, press the yellow touch strips or use the pull-cords inside the bus to alert the driver that you wish to exit the bus.
If a stop is requested too late for the driver to stop safely, you may have to ride to the next stop.
What if I have to use more than one bus? (Making Connections)
Sometimes you may have to take more than one bus to reach your destination. The key to making sure you can catch your next bus is to tell the driver when you board the first bus that you are trying to connect to another route.
COAST cannot guarantee connections. We do our best, but buses can get delayed by traffic. To ensure our system can continue to operate reliably for all customers, we will hold our own routes for no more than 5 minutes for any connecting customer. Exceptions may be made in extreme circumstances or at the end of the day.
We do not offer "free transfers." You must pay the fare for each bus you board (have exact change ready).
COAST does not guarantee connections with other services such as Wildcat Transit, the Amtrak Downeaster, C&J, or Greyhound.
Can I eat on the bus?
We ask that you refrain from eating on board the bus. If you have a beverage, it must have a spill-proof secure lid on it. This is important to help us keep buses clean and presentable. If you spill anything on the bus, please be courteous and notify the driver so it can be cleaned.
What can/can't I bring on the bus?
You are welcome to bring shopping bags with you; however, you may not bring more than what you can carry by yourself in a single trip.
Infant strollers are allowed on the bus; however, you should plan to carry your child on your lap during the ride. Strollers should be folded up and tucked in between or underneath seats. Strollers cannot be left in the aisle, the doorway, or restrict the ability of passengers with mobility devices to ride.
Personal shopping/utility carts are allowed on the bus, however, you may need to empty items out of your cart to store it properly during the ride. Carts should be folded up and tucked in between or underneath seats. Carts cannot be left in the aisle, the doorway, or restrict the ability of passengers with mobility devices to ride.
Large objects that could be dangerous, especially in a collision, are not permitted on the bus. The driver must use their discretion and may ask you to leave an especially large object behind. If you are permitted on board, the object(s) must be stowed carefully between seats and cannot sit in the aisle or doorways.
The following are not permitted on COAST vehicles:
- Pets (non-Service Animals) that are not in appropriate carriers.
- Deadly weapons, as defined by NH RSA 625.11, V.
- Flammable liquid, combustible material, car batteries, or other dangerous substances such as gasoline, kerosene, or propane.
- Large items, including bicycles and skis. (Other large items must be able to be properly secured, as determined by the operator. At the operator’s discretion, other large items unable to be properly stowed may not be allowed on board.)
For a full list of prohibited items and behaviors on board the buses, please view our Passenger Code of Conduct.
Can I bring an animal on the bus?
Customers may transport small pets on COAST buses in a completely enclosed cage or carrying case that is small enough to fit on the customer's lap. (Purses and luggage do not qualify as pet carriers.) The animal must not endanger or annoy other customers.
Drivers have the right to use their judgment to determine if a non-Service Animal is not properly secured for the trip.
Service Animals (and animals in training) are welcome on board COAST buses. Service Animals are specially trained animals that assist persons with disabilities. Service Animals must be within the care, custody, and control of their owner at all times. This means that the animal is properly restrained by leash, harness or carrier and is not roaming the bus, barking, or growling.
How much does the bus cost? Do I need a ticket?
The base cash fare is $1.50. You don't have to buy a pass or ticket ahead of time - just bring the exact change with you to the bus stop.
Please bear in mind that drivers cannot make change, and they cannot recover money from the farebox if you overpay.
You must pay the cash fare or produce a valid pass or ticket each time you board.
The only type of ticket that you can purchase directly from your driver is COAST's 15-Ride Punch Ticket ($20).
For more information about fares, tickets, and passes, please visit our Fares page.
I am traveling with children. Is there anything I should know?
Children under the age of 5 ride for free. Children ages 5 and up must pay regular fare.
All children ages 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
You are responsible for the behavior of any minor child(ren) that you travel with.
Strollers must be folded and properly stowed on the bus.
Hold on to your small children when the vehicle is in motion. Don't let them stand on seats or toddle around. Be sure they are securely held in your lap at all times.
Eating is not permitted on the buses. Drinks are okay, as long as they are in a container with a spill-proof lid.
If a spill or mess occurs, please let the driver know promptly so we can keep our vehicles clean and presentable.
I am a person with a disability. What services do you provide?
All COAST buses are fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Every bus has a working accessible ramp or lift for anyone who has difficulty boarding or exiting the bus, whether that person uses a wheelchair or walker or simply cannot climb steps.
Most COAST buses are "low-floor" and require only a single step into the bus. These buses can also kneel, meaning the front of the bus lowers while stopped so you don't have to climb up into the bus.
All COAST buses are capable of carrying two passengers using mobility devices. We will not require anyone to transfer to a bus seat.
COAST also provides ADA Paratransit Service, which complements our bus routes. If your disability prevents you from using the bus system, you may qualify for this service.
Can I just call someone and ask?
Yes! Call 603-743-5777, Option 1 between the hours of 5:00 AM and 10:00 PM, Monday - Friday, and our staff will be happy to help you.