New Rider Tips

View the video for quick tips on riding CAMBUS:

View the video for quick tips on riding CAMBUS:

  1. CAMBUS only picks up and drops off riders at designated bus stops.
  2. Always board through the front doors.
  3. If there are many people waiting to board the bus, fill the back of the bus, including standing room, first.
  4. Always pull the stop request cord about a block before your stop.
  5. If you have any questions, just ask the driver - we're here to help!

Update as of May 2021: CAMBUS starting wage is $15/hour.

Time and Schedule

CAMBUS time is established by time.gov. Variations from your time piece or mobile device may occur. The drivers make every effort to safely operate on schedule, however, delays may occur due to unavoidable events or conditions including inclement weather, traffic, road construction, etc.

Bus Stops

All CAMBUS stops are marked by signs. For safety and reliability of service, riders may only board and exit at designated stops. Times posted at bus stops are departure times. Operators may every effort to safely operate on schedule. Unavoidable factors may impact this ability and your understanding is appreciated.

Due to large blind spots caused by trees, buildings, signs, and the bus itself, it is not always possible for operators to see riders approaching the stop from a nearby building or vehicle. To ensure boarding, riders are asked to be at the stop a couple minutes before the departure time. Riders can use the Transit mobile app to assist in determining when to be at the stop.

Boarding and Riding

Boarding - To help our services operate efficiently, riders are asked to board at the front doors and exit at the back doors. Be advised, all riders must stay behind the painted yellow line while the bus is in motion.

Riding - Please remember that eating, drinking, vaping, and smoking are not allowed on CAMBUS vehicles. Please be respectful of driver instructions. If possible, ask any questions you have for the driver when you board or at a bus stop; avoid asking questions when the bus is in motion so that the driver can focus on safely operating the vehicle.

Requesting a Stop

CAMBUS has two types of stops in the system.

Mandatory stops are stops where bus operators always stop to board and alight riders. Buses also sometimes have layovers at mandatory stops to prevent the bus from running ahead of schedule.

Optional stops are stops that are only served when a rider pulls the stop request cord and/or someone is waiting at the stop.

It is recommended that riders always pull the stop request cord about a block before the stop they need, even if it is a stop the bus always stops at. The stop request cord provides a visual and auditory cue to the driver to expect riders to disembark at the next stop.

Requesting Assistance

Operators are available to provide assistance to riders including:

  • Kneeling the bus to allow for easier boarding
  • Deploying a ramp for easier boarding, or to board a mobility device
  • Providing directions and system information
  • Answering questions about CAMBUS services
  • Requesting a priority seat for a rider

Drivers anticipate when additional assistance may be needed. Sometimes the need for additional assistance is not always apparent to the driver. If you need assistance, please make a request to the driver.

Lost and Found

CAMBUS maintains a lost and found at the West Campus Transportation Center. If you believe that you lost an item on a bus, please call 319-335-8633. Lost and found items are sent to the university lost and found once per week.

Service Calendar

Levels of service vary on some routes depending upon the academic calendar. CAMBUS does not operate during most university holidays or on the weekends during Thanksgiving, Winter, and Spring Break. View the CAMBUS service calendar.

Providing Feedback

Our team of talented students and staff strive to continually improve the safety and quality of service. Please report any problems you may see on the bus. Please provide feedback on your experience with CAMBUS by calling or emailing us.

Rider feedback is an invaluable tool to better understand how we are doing and identify opportunities for improvement.

Phone: 319-335-8633

Email: cambus-transit@uiowa.edu

Media Inquiries

For media inquiries, please contact April Wells (april-wells@uiowa.edu), Parking and Transportation Marketing and Communications.

FAQs

CAMBUS is fare-free. There is no fee or payment required to board a CAMBUS.

CAMBUS is open to the public – no affiliation to the university is required to ride.

The Bionic Bus is CAMBUS’ paratransit transportation service for persons with a temporary or permanent disability. The service is in compliance with federal ADA and FTA requirements. The service accommodates all types of disabilities that may prevent someone from using CAMBUS’ fixed-route system.

Bionic Bus operates within a service boundary near the University of Iowa campus. Click here to learn more about Bionic Bus and view the service boundaries.

For questions, please contact us at: 319-335-7595 or email bionic-bus@uiowa.edu

Per federal and ADA requirements, there is a certification process for using the Bionic Bus system. Riders wishing to use the Bionic Bus should contact us at 319-335-7595. You will be connected with a CAMBUS dispatcher who take some contact information and begin the certification process. Riders will be able to schedule a limited number of rides until the certification process is complete.

Riders can access CAMBUS route information using the mobile app, Transit. Transit features include trip-planning, live route maps, real-time departure predictions, and service alerts. Transit also includes Iowa City Transit and Coralville Transit system information.

Click here to learn more about using Transit on your smart device.

CAMBUS is always hiring! To apply, candidates must be a current University of Iowa student. Candidates are also subject to a background check, including driving record.

To learn more about this great student job opportunity and apply, click here.

CAMBUS drivers make an effort to look for riders approaching the bus. However, limited visibility around bus stops exist due to buildings, trees, and campus signage, among others. The buses themselves also present large blind spots, particularly to the rear of the bus. For these reasons, CAMBUS may not always be able to wait for riders approaching from areas other than the bus stop. CAMBUS asks that riders are at the bus stop prior to the bus departure time to ensure boarding. Your cooperation with this also helps to ensure service delays are kept to a minimum.

To help determine when to leave a building or your vehicle to head to the bus stop, we recommend using the live bus map feature in Transit. Learn more about the Transit mobile app here.

CAMBUS continues to operate in nearly all conditions and on most holidays.

Holidays with no CAMBUS service: 
  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • 4th of July
  • Thanksgiving and day after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas and day before or after Christmas 
Severe Weather

CAMBUS may reduce or suspend service during severe weather.  CAMBUS is required to suspend service when there is an active tornado warning or severe thunderstorm warning in Johnson County.  View our severe weather policy here.

In receiving federal funding, CAMBUS is required to meet ADA standards for public transportation. All CAMBUS vehicles are accessible. Some accessibility features of the CAMBUS system include:

  • All vehicles are equipped with a ramp for riders to board with a wheelchair, walker, or other mobility aids.
  • CAMBUS fixed-route provides automated stop announcements to assist individuals with a visual disability.
  • Most CAMBUS stops are ADA-accessible, featuring paved boarding and loading zones.
  • CAMBUS drivers are trained to provide assistance to those with a disability upon request.

CAMBUS also operates complementary paratransit services, called “Bionic Bus”. Bionic Bus service meets ADA requirements to provide transportation services to those unable to used the fixed-route system due to a permanent or temporary disability. To learn more about Bionic Bus, click here.

CAMBUS provides information about detours and service in changes in several ways. Below is a list of options riders may use to learn about changes, and our recommendations for getting the most current information.

CAMBUS website

All service changes and most detours are posted to the CAMBUS website. Service changes and detours are typically posted about a week in advance, where possible. Emergency detours or service suspensions, such as for severe weather or an accident impacting our service area, may not be available on the website.

Transit mobile app

All service changes and all detours are communicated through the Transit mobile app, including emergency detours and service suspensions. Service changes and detours impacting a route will be visible on the individual route screen in the app. Riders may also “favorite” the routes they ride to receive push notifications (similar to a text message) to notify them of upcoming or current detours and service changes.

Viewing route information in the Transit app and subscribing to service alerts through the app is the best way to get the most current system information.

Facebook and Twitter

CAMBUS maintains a Facebook and Twitter channel (@uiowacambus). Most service alerts and detours are posted to these channels. Some emergency or sudden detours may not be posted to the social media channels. Riders are strongly encouraged to use the Transit mobile app to receive the most up-to-date information.

Link to Facebook page

Link to Twitter page

Call Us

Riders may also call the CAMBUS dispatcher to get current route conditions and detour information. The CAMBUS dispatcher is available on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. - midnight and academic weekends from 11:30 a.m. - midnight.

Call: 319-335-8633

The Transit mobile app features trip-planning tools to assist riders in determining what route to take. The app also provides step-by-step directions along the trip. Click here to learn more about using the Transit app.

All CAMBUS vehicles that are out for service that day go through a “clean-up” process on weeknights. This means that most buses are cleaned each weeknight, unless they didn’t go out that day.

Cleaning practices include:

  • During the nightly “clean-up” process, buses interiors are cleaned with general cleaners before receiving a disinfectant spray over the entire interior of the bus. Bus exteriors are also washed.
  • At least once every 48 hours, the interior of each bus receives a UV light treatment that kills bacteria and viruses.

Click or tap here to learn more about the clean-up process.