Frequently Asked Questions

 

Why does the bus smell like exhaust fumes? Am I in danger?

The particulate matter emitted from our buses’ exhaust must meet very rigorous standards per the California Air Resource Board. Part of this includes subjecting particulate matter to extreme heat to reduce the amount emitted from the tailpipe. This process can sometimes lead to an increased smell of “fumes”. Most times we try and do this burn off when no passengers are aboard but there are cases where the bus’s computer will deem it necessary while in service. The smell, although unpleasant, is not harmful to passengers.

What is the "Ride the Vine App"?

The Ride the Vine app allows users of the Calistoga Shuttle, St. Helena Shuttle, Yountville Trolley, and American Canyon Transit to request and track rides directly from their smartphone. The app is free and available to everyone. It can be downloaded from both the iOS and Google Play stores.

What is the best way to find out when my bus will arrive? 

You can get this information several ways. If you are using your smartphone you can download our “myStop” app for either the iOS store or the Google Play store. The app will give you real time information on where the bus is in relation to your location. If you are a frequent user of a particular route and/or stop you can preset alerts. Don’t have a smartphone? The same information is available on our website under the “Real-time Information” link. Riders can also text “321123”, with the bus stop number. This number can be found on the bus stop sign at each stop. If a rider is not at the physical location, they can also review the bus stop info on our schedules. You can also always call our customer service line at (707) 251-2800 to get this information as well.

I want to learn how to ride the bus. Is there someone that can help me? 

We have a travel training program that can help you learn how to use the bus. This program is comprised of a group of volunteers who will take you out and teach you how to use the bus. You will also receive a free 31-day pass so you can learn how to use the bus on our dime. To schedule an appointment please call our main admistrative line at (707) 259-8631.

How do I plan my trip if I want to go at it alone? 

You have a couple options to go about planning your trip by yourself. Trip planning is available through Google Maps and 511.org. Both platforms will plan your trip from start to finish meaning they will both give you walking directions to the closest stop and what route to take once you are there.

How do I pay for the bus? 

You can pay for the bus in several different ways. All of our routes accept cash as a form of payment. Just be aware that drivers cannot make change, so exact change is needed. We also offer a number of passes, mobile fares on your smart phone through TokenTransit (iOS | Google) or HopThru (iOS | Google), and Clipper. For more detailed information on our different forms of payment visit our “Fares and Passes” page.

What is a transfer? How do I use it? 

Transfers are issued at the time of boarding the only exception is on the Routes 10 and 11 where passengers can request one upon disembarking the bus. There are no transfers between Routes 10 and 11 or to the Route 29. Transfers are allowed to the Route 21. Transfers are valid for ONE hour after they are issued. Transfers are also issued with the use of a ride from a 20-ride pass.

What is a Clipper card?

A Clipper card is a regional fare card that is usable on all Bay Area transit systems. They can be purchased at the Soscol Gateway Transit Center for $3.00, or at local Walgreens and Wholefoods stores. Once you have your card you can add cash value at the Soscol Gateway Transit Center, Walgreens, and Wholefoods. The easiest way to add value is  create an online account at www.clippercard.com.  If you are 65 years of age or older you can receive a Clipper Card for free with proof of age at the Soscol Gateway Transit Center. Youth passes can be acquired in the same way. If you have a disability you can apply for Regional Transit Connection (RTC) discount card. For more information you can visit the RTC website. A copy of the application can be  found here. The closest location to Napa to drop off your application is in Vallejo at 311 Sacramento Street, Vallejo, CA 94590. Fares and fare media prices are adjusted to the appropriate fare category e.g. if you have a senior Clipper card you will only be charged the senior fare on all transit providers in the Bay Area.

Are there discounts on passes for social service agencies? 

Unfortunately, no. Our passes are already deeply discounted. The true cost to ride the bus is actually about $8 per passenger. In order to receive funding we are also required by the State of California to recoup 15% of our operating costs through fares. With this being the case every dollar counts. We do however provide the opportunity to pruchase passes and bulk. Please call (707) 259-8631 for more information on the process. 

Can I bring my bike on the bus? 

Yes. All Vine Transit fixed route vehicles have bicycle racks. First come, first serve.  And of course, bikes ride free. Bikes are not allowed onboard except for the last trip of the day. Electric assist bikes are allowed on a case by case basis and must be preapproved before use. To recieve approval please call (707) 259-8631. 

Can I park my bike a Vine Transit facility? 

Yes, but Vine Transit assumes no responsibility for bikes stolen or damaged. We strongly recommend locking your bike to a rack or renting a locker. Lockers are available at the Soscol Gateway Transit Center, Redwood Park and Ride, and Yountville Park and Ride with locker access using the Bike Link system.  Information on how to use Bike Link is available at https://www.bikelink.org/. Bike Link passes can be purchased at the Soscol Gateway Transit center for $20.

Are Vine buses ADA/wheelchair accessible? 

All Vine Transit vehicles are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and can accommodate wheelchairs. Most buses are equipped with ramps. The ramps allow for easy wheelchair access. Even if you are not in a wheelchair and just want a little easier access to the vehicle our drivers will happily deploy the ramp for you. 

What do the dashes (---) mean on the maps and schedules?

A dash under a timepoint means the bus does not serve that particular stop on that trip.

Why do I see empty buses on the road?  

An empty or almost-empty bus may indicate a route with low ridership; often, however, you're seeing the bus at either the beginning or the end of its run (that is, before gathering most of its passengers or after dropping most of them off). Even our most popular routes tend to see lower ridership before and after the peak commuting hours in the morning and evening.

Why are smaller buses not used for all the Vine routes?

We have a number of smaller buses for use where practicable. However, in our system, buses circulate among routes; after finishing a low-ridership route, a bus may immediately go on to serve one of our more popular routes. As far as expense is concerned, the cost of the fuel saved by using smaller vehicles is offset by our more rugged and reliable (and, therefore, less expensive to maintain) larger vehicles. Federal requirements mandate we keep a vehicle over 30 feet in service for 12 years and vehicles under 30 feet for 7 years. Larger vehicles provide more cost effective option. They also allow for great flexibility when putting vehicles in service.

How many bags can I bring on the bus?

Common sense is really the only guide; as long as they don't block the aisles or take up seat space, take as many pieces of luggage as you think you can comfortably handle. Wheeled showing baskets are allowed on the bus but must be secured by you or in the wheelchair area by the driver. If a wheelchair needs to use the space it will need to be relocated. 

I lost something on the bus? How do I see if it was turned in?

Lost and Found is located in the Soscol Gateway Transit Center Ticket Office located at 625 Burnell St. in Napa. If making a special trip to pick up an item, please call ahead to verify availability: (707) 251-2800.

What do I do if I see suspicious or criminal behavior on the bus or at a bus stop?

If it is criminal activity please call 911. The Vine does not have a police force nor have the ability to police illegal behavior. In partnership with the Vine local police and sheriff assist with all enforcement on Vine buses and at Vine bus stops. You can also inform the driver who may also contact the authorities. If you ever feel unsafe in any way at all, inform the driver right away.

Who do I contact if I want to advertise with the Vine?

Click here for information on advertising contracts with the Vine.

What are the hours for customer service?

Monday - Friday: 7:30am - 5:30pm

Saturday: 10:00am - 2:00pm

Sunday: CLOSED

The Vine Customer Service Offce office is located at the Soscol Gateway Transit Center, 625 Burnell St. Napa, CA 94559

What is VineGo and how do I apply?

VineGo is the Vine's ADA Paratransit serivce. The Federal government requires all public transit providers to provide complementary paratransit within 3/4 of a mile of all services during the same hours and days. This service is designed to allow people with disabilities that limit or do not allow them to used regular fixed route service to have access to equal public transit service. Eligiblity is determined through an in-person functional evaluation. Please visit our VineGo page or call (707) 253-4649 for more information on the process.