When you use public transit for your field trip, not only are you taking your students on an educational adventure, you are teaching them important transit skills that they will carry with them for a lifetime.
To schedule a group field trip using local bus or light rail services, tell us where you want to go, the date and times you would like to travel, and we will do the rest. We provide you with the best route for your trip, time schedules, nearest bus stops and light rails stations and transfer information if necessary.
Guidelines for Using the Free Group Field Trip Pass
- Preschool, elementary or junior high students traveling with their teachers, as well as special needs high school students are eligible.
- Group size is a maximum of 35 per bus or light rail vehicle; that includes students and adults.
- One-week advance notice is necessary to receive a free Group Field Trip pass, although two weeks or more is preferable.
- Your group can use transit for field trips at any time; the free Group Field Trip pass may only be used between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Tips for Planning Group Field Trips
- Coordinate your travel plans with our field trip coordinator as soon as possible, preferably a few weeks in advance. (Remember to contact us at least one week in advance if you would like to receive a Free Group Field Trip pass.) Our field trip coordinator will help set up your itinerary and send it to you along with your Group Field Trip pass, if your group qualifies for one.
- We also recommend that you schedule a free classroom presentation prior to your first group trip on transit.
- Under most circumstances, we can comfortably accommodate groups of 35 or less on local bus and light rail services during the times that most school groups travel. We will assist larger groups by staggering travel times, or plan for alternate routing.
- Valley Metro coordinates group trips so only one group rides on a vehicle. We do this to help your trip go smoothly and to ease overcrowding. You can also help by following the instructions included in your field trip itinerary.
- Group trips are scheduled according to space availability on a first-come, first-served basis. We cannot make route or schedule changes, or provide additional vehicles for field trips, but we will make every possible effort to address a group’s needs.
Tips for Groups Using Transit on Field Trips
- Arrive at your bus stop or light rail station at least five minutes before the scheduled departure time.
- Stay in the “Safe Zone” at the bus stop, that is, a safe distance from the curb and street. At the light rail station, it is behind the textured strip on the edge of the platform.
- Make sure you are getting on the right vehicle. Check the destination sign above the windshield on the bus and signal the operator that you want to board. At the light rail station, check the directional signs posted for your destination.
- The field trip leader boards the bus first and inserts the Group Field Trip pass into the farebox to activate it, which marks the date on the pass. The leader keeps the Group Field Trip pass to be used on any trips later that day. At the light rail station before boarding, activate the pass by dipping it into the Validator slot on a fare vending machine. Have your group board the same light rail car. Keep the Group Field Trip pass on hand in case a fare inspector asks to see proof of payment for your group.
- Assist your group in finding seats quickly. If you have to stand, hold onto the handrails.
- Follow the simple guidelines for safety and courtesy on BUS and RAIL.
- On the bus, signal the operator when approaching the bus stop near your destination. On the light rail, operators automatically stop at all light rail stations. Listen and watch for your destination light rail stop near your destination.
- Quickly exit the bus through the back door or the light rail through the closest door. Move away from the transit vehicle back into the “Safe Zone.”