Why ride the bus?
New to COAST? Using the bus is easy.
What is COAST?
Our name stands for "Cooperative Alliance for Seacoast Transportation". We provide and promote public transportation in the Seacoast region of New Hampshire. We've been working on that mission since 1981, making cooperative agreements with communities and local organizations to create a regional network for transportation.
In other words, at the base of everything we do, we operate more than nine regular bus routes throughout the region. If you're familiar with the Boston area, it's a little like a very very small version of the MBTA. However small, we still have big ambitions, which you'll see as soon as you set foot in a COAST bus. We run modern, reliable, and clean vehicles, driven by skilled and thoroughly trained bus operators.
Our regular bus routes aren't the only part of our mission, either. We also work with local organizations to develop long-range transportation plans, promote the use of alternative modes of travel, and change attitudes around the state in favor of public transit as a responsible and practical investment.
Why "Take a closer look"?
It's simple; we've been operating most of our bus routes since 1982, and yet we still hear from even long-time residents that they never really think about the bus. We'd like to think we're hard to miss; there's a COAST bus stop sign at least every 1/4 mile along almost every major road through 11 towns. During the week we have as many as 14 buses on the road at a time. We think it's never been a better time for the residents of the Seacoast to check out what we do and give public transit a try.
What's the advantage of taking the bus over your car?
- Save money! Riding the bus can save you hundreds of dollars over your car every year in fuel and maintenance alone.
- Relax! Instead of getting stuck behind the bus in your car, let us do the driving. You can read the paper, listen to your iPod, and relax to start and end your day. You won't even have to worry about finding a parking spot when you get there!
- Help the environment: If you can get there on the bus, you'll help reduce pollution. COAST buses use biodiesel, and our newest buses have some of the cleanest-burning engines on the road.
- Reduce traffic congestion: Bus routes are designed to follow major travel patterns over the past several decades, so they're probably already making the same commute you are.
- Jump-start your new healthier lifestyle: It's easy to get into the habit of driving everywhere. Walking or biking to bus stops is a great way to build more physical activity into your day.
- Set an example for your community: Understandably, communities don't want to fund services they think people aren't using. When you contribute to our growing ridership numbers, you help us preserve our current level of service and campaign for future service expansions that will make riding the bus even more convenient for all.
You don't have to give up your car to use public transit. It's an alternative, another tool you can use to get around. Try it out and you might be surprised how well it works. And don't worry, your car will still be there when you need it.
Quick Tips for Riding the Bus
Here are some tips to get you started riding. We also have a full ride guide which covers just about every topic about riding.
- Be at your bus stop early. Your clock might be different than ours. Play it safe and get to the stop a few minutes early (5 minutes is plenty). COAST buses do not run ahead of schedule, but they may be slightly delayed by traffic or other issues out of our control.
- Have your fare ready. See our Fares page for complete information. Whether you get on the bus with cash or a pass, have it ready when the bus arrives. Drivers cannot make change, and they cannot recover money from the farebox if you put too much in!
- Stand safely and visibly at the stop. Don't stand behind a telephone pole or other objects. It helps to move around a little bit or wave as the bus approaches. Also, be sure to stay away from traffic, especially in the winter. Standing on top of an icy snowbank is dangerous - if there's nowhere safe to stand next to the bus stop sign, find the nearest driveway on the same side of the street. If all else fails, call COAST and let us know where you are.
- Request your stop. There are pull-cords or yellow tape on the inside of every bus that sound a bell telling the driver to make the next stop. COAST buses can stop only at designated bus stops. If you don't know exactly where the stop is that you want to get off at, just speak with the driver.
- Transfers/connections: Notify the first driver when you board if you have to change to another bus. Connections are not guaranteed. COAST buses can only be held up for five minutes for connections (we may make exceptions for last runs). We do not offer "transfers" - you must pay a fare for each bus you board. Do you have to change buses often? You might want to consider a monthly pass, or buy a 15-ride ticket from the driver ($20 cash). See the fares page for more info.
- If you're not sure about anything (whether you have to transfer buses, for example), always ask the driver!