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 Santa Barbara > Community > Education > International Student Guide > Transportation by Bus

Transportation by Bus

There is no subway system in Santa Barbara. The primary form of public transportation is the Santa Barbara MTD (Metropolitan Transit District) bus system. You can go almost everywhere in town by bus. The fare is $1.00 but if you have a student I.D., you can take the bus for free. If you need to transfer the bus, you can get a transfer pass without charge. There are two kinds of buses that are Express bus and local bus. Express bus doesn’t stop a lot and go directly to the transit center. Meanwhile local bus stops a lot.

There are 27 numbers of buses that go to Goleta and Santa Barbara., you can get a route & schedule guide in Transit center in downtown. If you have a bicycle, you can also load your bike.

Or If you go to the MTD site, you can check any information about route and time.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Buses in Santa Barbara stop operating at 6pm

This means that if you live far from school or live far from downtown, you will need to find alternate forms of transportation at night. Taxis can be expensive. Keep this in mind when you are choosing where to live.

Here's some tips about how to use bicycle racks

Loading Your Bike:

  • Have your bike ready to load as the bus approaches, remove water bottles and any other loose items. The driver may request that you remove any extra items that may impair the drivers view.
  • Notify the driver that you will be loading your bike, proceed to the front of the bus. There are posted instructions located directly on the rack.
  • Always load and unload your bicycle from the curb side.
  • Pull down to release the folded bike rack.
  • Lift the bike onto the rack. Secure the bike into the appropriate labeled spot.
  • Raise the release and support arm over the front tire.
  • Board the bus.

Unloading Your Bike:

  • As the bus approaches your stop simply tell the driver that you will be unloading your bicycle.
  • Raise the support arm off of the tire.
  • Lift your bike out of the rack.
  • Step away from the bus with your bike.


In downtown Santa Barbara, there are shuttle buses. You can go to beach or harbor by shuttle. It stops at every block. 

The shuttle buses run everyday from 10:00am to 6:p.m. You can see detailed schedule and routes in MTD site.

Gulcen Demirei from Turkey 

video interview