CAT 101: How to Ride the CAT Buses

To check out our "How to Ride" videos click here.

To download a PDF "How To Ride" brochure click here.

To download a PDF of our full route map click here.


Reading the Route Maps:

  • A bus time schedule is listed on the right hand side of the map.
  • Major destinations are printed on the top of the schedule and right underneath is a number in a yellow circle. This number in the yellow circle is referred to as a timing point. These numbers match up with the numbers on the map. These are the estimated times that the bus will be at that location.
  • If you are at a location between timing points, be at the location at the same time as the earlier of the two timing points.
  • Buses will not stop in yellow highlighted areas on the map except at the "safe stop" zone indicated by a yellow hand in a red stop sign.
  • Buses do not stop at the timing points unless a rider is waving to get on the bus. The only times the buses stop is for 5 minutes between routes at Kirkwood Mall and Gateway Mall
  • Allow yourself an extra five minutes because clocks can be off.  CAT buses run on satellite (cell phone) time.
 How to read the CAT Bus timetables

Waiting for the Bus:

  • CAT buses will stop on any corner along a bus route as long as the driver believes it is a safe place to stop.
  • Buses cannot stop in right turn lanes.
  • Wave to make sure the driver can see you as the bus approaches.
  • Stand back from the curb until the bus comes to a stop.
  • When the door opens, carefully board the bus.
Waiting for the bus

Identifying the Correct Bus:

  • Check the destination signs and route number before boarding the bus or ask the driver what the destination is before you pay your fare.
  • Destination signs are located along the front of the bus and near the top of the bus by the front door.
Identifying the correct bus

Getting off the Bus:

  • If you want to stop along the route, pull the cord about a half block before your destination.
  • The driver will stop at the next safe corner or at the next safe stop zone on highlighted routes.
  • Please remain seated until the bus comes to a complete stop.
  • Exit through the front door and wait until the bus is gone before crossing the street if you need to.
  • If it is your first time riding, let the driver know your destination and he or she will help you get there.
Getting off the bus


  • You may need to transfer between buses to get to your final destination.
  • Transfers are free between CAT buses.
  • There are five transfer points indicated with yellow stars on the route map: Kirkwood Mall, Gateway Mall, Arrowhead Plaza, Simle Middle School, and Bismarck State College.
  • Notify your driver when you board your first bus. He or she will give you a transfer slip when you exit the bus.
  • You need to get on the next bus at your transfer location.
  • Most transfers will be immediate, but some can take up to 30 minutes or longer, especially for Mandan routes.
  • Monthly passholders don’t need transfer slips, but should still notify the driver if the are going to be transferring, especially during winter months.

For Assistance With Mapping Out A Route:

If you need assistance with figuring out which routes you need to take to get to your destination, please click here to use The CAT Trip Planner.



  • Keep arms, legs, packages, and other personal items out of the aisles
  • Do not stand in the stairwells
  • No eating, no drinking, and no open containers on the bus
  • No smoking
  • No radios without earphones
  • No vulgar, threatening, or offensive language (you will be asked to leave the bus)
  • No rollerblades or in-line skates can be worn on the bus
  • No animals are allowed on the buses except service animals
  • Please limit yourself to packages that can be easily carried and stored next you on the bus
  • Strollers must be folded and stored out of the aisle
  • Please refrain from carrying on a conversation with the driver while the bus is in motion
Safety and Courtesy on the Bus

Lost and Found:

  • When exiting the bus, make sure you take all your personal belongings with you
  • If you forget an item, please contact The CAT at 323-9228 (9CAT)

Weather Closures

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