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By the Tail: Safely Banner

By the Tail: Safely

When customers get on CAT buses, streetcar, or ferries, they are entrusting us with their personal safety. Here at CAT, we take that responsibility seriously. Safely moving our customers is our most important task.

We are building a new headquarters to add even better service through a state-of-the-art operations Control Center. Through the Control Center, we are in constant contact with every vehicle on the street (or in the water). We use a radio system that connects supervisors at the Center to bus operators and streetcar conductors out in the city at all times. In addition, our vehicles are equipped with a camera system that can send direct feeds to the Center. Simply put, our Control Center staff monitors the movements of each vehicle in the city and all the activity on it.

All CAT bus, ferry and streetcar operators undergo rigorous safety training before they are allowed in the operator’s seat. Safety and customer service training remains ongoing throughout their careers at CAT.

Safety on CAT Vehicles

When a customer gets injured on one of our vehicles, the injury is typically the result of stumbling, slipping, or falling. Help us make your ride a safe one.

  • If you need a moment to get to an open seat, feel free to ask the operator to wait that extra minute until you are able to sit down.
  • Hold on to poles or straps if no seats are available.
  • If standing, stay behind the line on the floor near the fare box.
  • Watch your step when boarding and exiting vehicles, and use the railings and handholds.
  • When exiting through the rear door, pay attention to closing doors and be aware of the high steps.
  • Be particularly careful when moving about on buses, ferries, and streetcars on rainy days when water gets tracked in.

Courtesy on CAT Vehicles

An important part of safety is being courteous to others sharing the ride with you.

  • Try to limit questions/conversations with the Operator for times when the vehicle is stopped in order to keep distractions to a minimum.
  • Keep all eating, drinking, and smoking activities off the vehicles. Various reasons for this include illness, allergies, providing more opportunities for people to slip or trip, attracting bugs, etc.
  • Have your fare counted out and in hand when entering the vehicle in order to help everyone board quickly and safely.
  • Enter at the front of the vehicle. Exit by the rear doors. You can always request to exit by the front door and have the Operator ‘kneel’ the bus for a shorter step down.
  • When customers are boarding the vehicle with the lift mechanism, please give plenty of space to them and to the operator assisting them.
  • The seats behind the operator are designated for passengers with disabilities, senior citizens, and pregnant women. Please respect your fellow community members who need these seats.
  • Young children should be removed from strollers and placed on a seat or carried on an adult’s lap. Strollers need to be folded up and put securely out of the way of other customers.
  • Music should be enjoyed through headphones and quietly enough that other customers cannot hear it.
  • Phone conversations should also be kept as quiet and private as possible.
  • Language on any public transportation vehicle should be appropriate and respectful.
  • If the bus, ferry or streetcar is crowded, please make sure any packages you may have are not taking up seats so that others may sit down.
  • Remember that we’re happy to have you on board, so sit back and relax. Thank you for Catching a CAT!

Security on CAT Vehicles

You’ll be safest on CAT when you are aware of what’s going on around you. So relax and close your eyes, but keep a hand on your belongings and an ear open for your stop. Enjoy your music, but don’t let it deafen you to the surrounding sounds. Enjoy your book, paper, or handheld device, but don’t get lost in the words until you find yourself safely at home.

If you see something dangerous or even suspicious on the CAT system, please tell the vehicle operator or call 911. Keep an eye out for unattended bags at CAT stops or on CAT vehicles and for people acting oddly or suspiciously.

CAT does not have to allow drunk or unruly people to ride the system. If someone is acting intoxicated or in an unsafe manner, discreetly tell the operator and return to your seat. The operator is trained to know what to do in such situations. He or she may call a CAT dispatcher, the police, or an ambulance on a case-by-case basis.

How to Ride with a Disability

icon-accessibilityEveryone can Catch a CAT. Learn how to ride with a disability on our Accessibility page.


How to
Bike & Ride

Ride Guide for CAT, including info for fares and bike ridersWant to Catch a CAT with your bicycle? Click the link to see how easily it’s done. (Presentation may take a moment to load.)

Catch a CAT with your Bike