All of the buses at James Madison University are owned and operated by the City of Harrisonburg’s Department of Public Transportation. HDPT runs multiple bus routes throughout the city and JMU campus. Need some help figuring out how to get where you need to go? The JMU Commuter Rideshare app can give you point-by-point instructions on how to get there.

IIf you have questions or concerns about bus service please fill out this form. You can contact the HDPT directly at 540-432-0492 or

If you have never ridden a city bus anywhere, this is how to do it.

  1. Figure out where you want to start and end your trip.

  2. Consult the HDPT system maps to find those points. Determine if your trip can be accomplished on just one bus, or if you need to take multiple buses.

  3. Consult the bus route for times of arrival and departure. [If you are taking the ICS on a weekday, there are no schedules. Several buses run on the same loop all day long, arriving at each stop approximately every 5 minutes.]

  4. When you have determined which bus you need to take, go to the bus stop at least 5 minutes before your bus is scheduled to arrive. Keep in mind that HDPT bus routes run in one direction or a loop, but some loops have stops on both sides of the street because they pass that point multiple times. Make sure you are at the stop on the correct side of the street for the direction of your trip.

  5. Keep in mind that some stops are serviced by multiple bus routes, so don’t just get on the bus because it stopped where you think you should get on. A stop that services multiple bus lines is called a transfer point. The bus system has many transfer points to enable passengers to connect different bus routes in order to arrive at their preferred destination.

  6. When a bus arrives, look at the top front of the bus, above the driver’s head. This place will have a scrolling sign that says where the bus is going or the last stop that bus will pickup and drop off at. Another scroll bar is above the passenger doors on the side, and a third sign is on the back of the bus. If you are at all unsure, ask the driver.

  7. All HDPT buses are always fare-free for JMU students, so there is no need to pay a fare, just get on the bus. If you rode your bike to the bus, you can put it on the front of the bus while you ride. To do this, release the handle holding the rack vertically and lower it down so it is horizontal. Lift your bike onto the rack and secure the front wheel securely. HDPT has video instructions here.

  8. Find a seat or a place to stand where you can hold on. Be mindful that there is priority seating for disabled passengers. It is ok to sit in the priority seating if there is no one present who needs it. If a differently abled passenger embarks, or if someone asks you for the priority seat and you are able-bodied, kindly give them your seat. Remember that not all disabilities are clearly visible.

  9. As you ride, pay attention to when your stop is coming up. There will be an announcement, and the scroll screen on the inside of the bus will show what the next stop is. The bus does not automatically stop at every stop if there is no one waiting to be picked up, so if your stop is coming up next, pull the “request stop” cord located along the inside walls of every bus.

  10. When the bus is at your stop, wait until the bus has stopped moving and the doors open before moving toward the exit.

  11. If your bike is on the front of the bus, as you disembark, remind the driver that you need to get it. After removing your bike, return the rack to the upright position if there are no other bikes on it. Otherwise, step off the bus and clear of the doors.

  12. If this is your first time at this bus stop, make sure to look around so you can remember how to find it for your return trip.

  13. Have a nice great day knowing that you used a sustainable means of transportation and helped reduce traffic congestion. If you would like further assistance, please see

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