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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

You’ve got questions; we’ve got answers.

 

What is CAT?

CAT stands for Chatham Area Transit Authority. We are the proud mobility provider for Savannah-Chatham County, chartered in 1986, and offering bus, paratransit, ferry, and streetcar modes of travel to tourists and locals throughout the area.

How much does it cost to Catch a CAT?

  • Cash fare for local bus boarding is $1.50. Exact change only.
  • Customers over 65 years old (Seniors), between 6-18 (Youth), and passengers with disabilities can pay half-price on local routes with ID, 75¢.
  • Transfers can be requested for free before paying the fare; they are valid for one-way travel for an hour-and-a-half.
  • 100X Airport Express fare is $5.00 one-way or $8.00 roundtrip.
  • Downtown shuttles (Liberty St. Parking Shuttle and Dot Shuttle) are free.
  • Savannah Belles Ferry rides are free.
  • River Street Streetcar is free.
  • Paratransit cash fare for each boarding is $2.00.

Visit our Fares & Discounts page.

What types of fare media (passes) are available to riders?

CAT offers a variety of fare options to suit every rider:

Day Pass (unlimited rides for 1 day)………………$3.00

Weekly Pass * (unlimited rides for 7 days)……….$14.00 *

Monthly Pass * (unlimited rides for 30 days)……..$50.00 *

Ten (10) Ride Pass…………………………………..$15.00

Stored Value cards…………………$5, $10, $15, $20, $25 *

Paratransit Tickets (Book of 10)……………………$20.00

* Also valid on express routes

What is a stored value card? How does it work?

A stored value card is like a gift card. It can be loaded with $5, $10, $20, $25, or $50 and can be used on the bus until it runs out. Just Tap & Go! Stored value cards can also be read and reloaded at the Ticket Window and TVMs. Stored value cards cannot be purchased or reloaded on the bus at this time.

What is a transfer?

Transfers are a limited-time free pass used to connect from one route to another. Designed for customers who need multiple routes to travel to their destination, transfers can be requested before paying the fare on the first bus of a trip. CAT believes our customers shouldn’t have to pay two fares for a one-way trip, so we issue transfers to those who need to make connections.

  • Transfers are free, issued upon request before paying the fare.
  • A transfer lasts for 90 minutes.
  • Transfers are valid on local routes, not express routes.
  • Transfers are not valid on the same route they were issued; they are for connecting between different routes.

Do children pay to ride the bus?

Children under 41” tall (height of most fareboxes) ride free with an adult. Limit two (2) such children per accompanying passenger may ride free.

Where can I purchase tickets, passes, and swipe cards?

Fare media are available at the Transit Center at 610 W. Oglethorpe Avenue, Oglethorpe Mall TVM, and at certain Live Oak Library branches.

Visit our Sales Locations page.

What are the hours of operation for fare media sales?

Transit Center Ticket Window: Monday-Friday, 7:00AM-1:00 PM and 2:00-8:00PM

  • All tickets and passes available

Transit Center Ticket Vending Machine (TVM): 24/7, located next to the building on the platform side

  • 1 ride, Day pass, Weekly pass, Monthly pass, Stored value cards available

Oglethorpe Mall Ticket Vending Machine (TVM): 24/7, located at the super stop under the parking deck

  • 1 ride, Day pass, Weekly pass, Monthly pass, Stored value cards available

Click here to learn more about TVMs.

Can I buy tickets, tokens and swipe cards online?

Currently, fare media are only available at CAT outlet locations. However, bulk orders may be submitted online to save time.

Visit our CAT Pass Order Form page.

What passes can I buy on the bus?

Onboard purchases can be made using cash–Exact Fare Only–and stored value cards. Customers can buy one-way rides and day passes on the bus. A day pass or transfer must be requested before entering the fare. Half-fare purchases require showing proper ID.

Is there a student discount on tickets and swipe cards?

Yes, CAT is proud to offer Youth rates for children 6-18 years old. Click on the image to view larger.purple plaid background with youth half-fare rates

College and university age students interested in the U-Pass program are encouraged to email marketing@catchacat.org or call our Marketing & Business Development Manager at (912) 629-3916.

The Summer Youth Pass is available to eligible youths seasonally.

Visit our Students page.

What is CAT’s refund policy?

All sales are final. CAT does not offer refunds or exchanges. However, under exceptional circumstances such as non-delivery or a major defect, CAT will review claims submitted in writing.

  • Non-delivery due to mailing issues. Claims for non-delivery must be submitted in writing to the customer service department within 10 days of placing the order. CAT Customer Service, PO Box 9118, Savannah, GA 31412
  • Major defects. Although all products are thoroughly tested before release, unexpected errors may occur. Claims of faulty fare media or equipment must be submitted in writing. CAT Customer Service, PO Box 9118, Savannah, GA 31412

Customers are encouraged to select carefully the type and value of the fare media desired, to always get a receipt from the TVM, and to treat passes as cash–storing them in a flat, dry location such as a wallet.

Where can I get a bus schedule?

Bus schedules are always available online for viewing and printing. Schedules are also located on the buses and at a number of places throughout the city of Savannah, including the Transit Center. Please call CAT at 912-233-5767 for the location nearest you.

Visit our Maps & Schedules page.

How can I get a schedule or other document in an accessible/alternative format?

Thanks to community partners such as LIFE, Inc. and the Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision, CAT is able to make alternate formats of our documents available upon request. Such formats can include large print, Braille, and audio recording. Click here to email your request.

Where do buses operate?

CAT services travel throughout Savannah and Chatham County. The system map provides an overview of all fixed routes, including points of interest such as tourist sites, stores, and libraries. Individual route maps are included in each passenger schedule.

Visit our Popular Spots page.

What time do buses operate?

Bus service is available seven (7) days a week. Weekday and Saturday service starts at 5:30 AM and ends at approximately 12:30 AM. On Sundays, service starts at 7:00 AM and ends at 9:00 PM.

Certain holidays throughout the year run according to a separate Holiday Schedule as noted in the passenger schedules, and buses do not run on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Individual route service hours are based on ridership and differ for each route so be sure to check the most current schedule.

View our Current Schedules.

What is “peak” time?

“Peak” time refers to those hours in the morning and in the late afternoon when traffic congestion is at its highest, typically due to most people making their daily commute. Peak time for CAT means 5:00-10:00 AM and 3:00-7:00 PM. Midday service covers 10:00 AM-3:00 PM, and night service runs from 7:00 PM on.

What does “outbound” or “inbound” mean?

These terms are used to describe the direction of each one-way trip. Outbound generally refers to traveling away from downtown Savannah. Inbound refers to travel headed towards downtown Savannah.

How do I know the name of a bus stop?

Bus stops are named by the closest intersecting streets or, in some cases, by a distinctive feature such a business or house address. When the stop is at an intersection, the name of the street the bus stop is on will be listed first, followed by the name of the nearest cross street. Bus stops also have an abbreviated direction as part of their names so customers can tell which side of the street the stop is on.

For example:

Abercorn & Broughton NB is the name of the bus stop on the side of the SCAD library downtown with all the bike racks.

The stop is ON “Abercorn,” right before “Broughton” when traveling north (“NB”).

Can I take my bike on the bus?

Yes, passengers may place bikes on the bike rack at the front of the bus at no additional cost. Bikes are accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis. No more than two (2), single-seated, non-motorized bikes can be loaded on the bike rack frame. Please note, CAT is not responsible for loss, injury, or other liability arising from the use of bike racks.

Visit our Bike & Ride page.

What is CAT Bike, or bike sharing?

CAT Bike logoCAT Bike is an exciting bike-sharing program launched in 2014 that allows residents and visitors to rent bicycles for short periods of time downtown. Station locations, rental fees, and sponsorship information can all be found on the CAT Bike website.

Visit our CAT Bike website.

How can I retrieve articles lost on the bus?

At the end of each day, vehicles are checked for left-behind items. These items are turned in to the Lost & Found at the CAT offices at 900 Gwinnett Street. CAT is not responsible for items left on our vehicles, but we will do everything we can to assist you; please call (912) 233-5767.

How can I use the free wi-fi on the bus?

CAT is proud to offer free wi-fi service on all of our fixed route buses. Use password “catchacat” (without the quotation marks) to connect to the internet and make the most out of your commute.

Please note, signal strength can be subject to interruption due to Savannah’s beautiful tree canopy and tower placement just like any other cell service. CAT encourages all users to check their mobile device settings before accessing the internet and will not be held liable for any user’s data or roaming charges.

What is the Downtown Loop?

Before the opening of the Joe Murray Rivers, Jr. Intermodal Transit Center in 2013, CAT buses traveled a ‘Downtown Loop’ from MLK to Broughton to Abercorn to Oglethorpe back to MLK.

Now that all downtown buses travel through the Transit Center, connections are more comfortable, safe, and convenient than ever.

Learn more about the transit center under Projects & Initiatives.

What is a “pulse” system?

For seamless connections at the Transit Center, bus schedules have been designed around a pulse system. This means that buses arrive and depart at specific times on or after each hour, for example, X:15, X:30. Pulse systems help improve on-time performance and make it easier to remember bus schedules.

Visit our Service Updates page for upcoming changes.

How can I get to the airport on CAT?

The 100X Airport Express provides nonstop service between the Transit Center and the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. Cost is $5.00 one-way or $8.00 roundtrip for this premium service, and can be paid using cash on the bus or by purchasing tickets or passes in advance. Weekly and monthly passes are valid on this route.

How can I get to the Amtrak train station on CAT?

Route 29 W. Gwinnett services the Amtrak station on various trips throughout the day.

Visit our Maps & Schedules section for the latest passenger schedules.

I’ve never ridden the bus before. What are some tips to aid me in my trip planning?

  • Figure out which bus to take, what time to catch it, and where to pick it up by using our Google Trip Planner or other travel apps.
  • Be at the bus stop at least five (5) minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
  • Have your fare ready when boarding the bus, and be sure to request your transfer before paying the fare if you need one.
  • Ask the operator any questions if you are unsure about your route.

Visit our How to Ride and Safety and Security pages.

Are buses wheelchair accessible?

Yes, CAT’s fleet of buses is 100% accessible for people with disabilities. All buses are equipped with wheelchair ramps or lifts.

Visit our How to Ride with a Disability page.

What services are offered for passengers with disabilities?

CAT offers a Half-Fare program for eligible passengers with disabilities and persons 65 and older. These customers may ride CAT fixed routes for half fare at any time with proper ID.
[See next question for more information.]

Visit our Half-Fare Program page.

What does “paratransit” mean?

Paratransit service accommodates those passengers with temporary or permanent disabilities who are unable to use the fixed route bus system. We believe everyone should have access to public transportation, not only for its economic advantages, but for the freedom to live independently that it provides. Paratransit service at CAT is available by reservation to eligible persons with disabilities in Chatham County, including out-of-town visitors. Call us for more information at (912) 354-6900.

Visit our Accessibility page.

What is travel training?

Travel training is a free program we offer to expose people to the independence and convenience of riding the bus. To learn more about the travel training experience, please contact our Outreach Manager at (912) 629-3924.

Who can participate in travel training?

Travel training is free and available to the public. Please call our Outreach Manager for details about the next available session: (912) 629-3924.

How do I apply for a job at CAT?

CAT is an equal opportunity employer offering careers in transit. Available positions are posted on the “CAT Careers” page of our website and advertised in local print media. Resumes are accepted via email to hr@catchacat.org.

Visit our CAT Careers page.

What is the Transit District?

The transit district includes Savannah, unincorporated Chatham County, and a portion of Garden City. Citizens within the Transit District pay a modest transit tax in order to offset part of the cost for providing this vital service to the community.

What are the independent municipalities in Chatham County that do not participate in the Transit District?

Bloomingdale, Pooler, Port Wentworth, Thunderbolt, Tybee, Vernonburg, and part of Garden City have opted not to be part of the Transit District and are therefore not served by CAT buses for the most part. Exceptions include portions of Garden City, Pooler, and Thunderbolt served by CAT as we travel through to surrounding areas.

How is CAT governed?

CAT is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of nine (9) members. These members represent Chatham County, the City of Savannah, and all the communities therein, including special groups such as the elderly or disabled. For more information on the Board, visit the “About CAT” section of our website.

Visit our Board of Directors page.

 

Still have questions? Please let us know how we can help.

Email us at info@catchacat.org,

Call the Customer Service Ride Line at (912) 233-5767,

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