Schedules can be picked up from any bus, but are only available in Norwegian, like their web counterparts. There is an information desk at the bus station providing information on all local bus and train lines free of charge. Calling 177 will also put you in contact with the information center (if you call from a cell phone, be sure to ask for the information center for Hordaland county, as this is a national service).
For a few major stops, the bus may have a fixed departure time, and will not leave before schedule. At other stops though, a bus may leave a few minutes ahead of schedule. During periods of high traffic, the bus may be several minutes late. Rush hour traffic is sometimes accounted for in the schedule by greater time allowances, but busy Saturday shopping is often not.
Schedule information at stops, if present, refers to the bus' departure time from the originating station, or another major stop, and there are usually few indications on how long the bus takes to reach your stop. Furthermore the name of a stop is almost never written on the stop itself, and in some cases, one stop may be referred to by multiple names, often corresponding to a particular landmark. Ask a local or a bus driver, both will usually be able and happy to assist you.
Schedules for buses within Bergen www.tide.no/... and outline maps of the services www.tide.no/.../pdf are available online. The online map Sesam www.kart.sesam.no displays the location of bus stops (but not schedules or lines).
Tickets and fare cards can be bought from the driver (cash payment only).
As long as you stay within Bergen, the fare structure is simple: tickets within Bergen municipality cost kr. 24 per trip for adults, and kr. 12 for senior citizens (67 years or older), children (15 years or younger) and other people entitled to a rebate (such as the disabled). Traveling out of Bergen subjects you to Hordaland county's zone payment system, and prices can be considerably higher when traveling even one stop beyond the city limits. There are several fare zones within Bergen as well, but as long as you stay inside the city limits, any fare increases from crossing these zone boundaries are suppressed. Once you travel outside the city limits, the cost of crossing the zones inside Bergen catch up with you.
When you purchase a ticket, you will find a time printed on it. Within this time you may use the ticket on one more buses than the one where you bought the ticket. You may get on one bus, buy a ticket, get off the bus after a few stops, have a break, then get on a new bus and travel in the same or a different direction. The only catch is that it is not possible to use the ticket for a return trip. If unsure, show your ticket to the driver and ask if it is valid for the trip you are planning to take. If you are caught without a valid ticket or fare card, you will be kicked off the bus and get a stiff fine.
Children under 4 always travel free, and so do their carriages. Outside rush hours and in the weekends, children under 16 years travel free when accompanied by an adult. Groups traveling together will also receive a discount.
A 6-trip card with 17% discount can be bought on all buses. There is also a day pass, available from the information at the bus station. It covers Bergen and surrounding areas, but is not very good value at kr. 80, unless you want to go out of Bergen municipality or travel very extensively. A value card may also be of interest, with this scheme you "fill" a card with a certain amount of money, a minimum of kr. 200 at a time, and use it to buy single tickets with a 15% discount throughout Hordaland county.
Regular bus services operate throughout the day, major trunk routes running through downtown run with a 20-minute frequency or better. Between Nesttun in the South and the Norwegian School of Business and Economics in the north, the combined schedule of all routes are supposed to give a five-minute frequency, but buses can be delayed. In the suburbs, there are smaller lines, generally operating from a local terminal, with less frequent services.
Most major lines operate seven days a week, including all holidays (usually a regular Sunday schedule with a few exceptions), but some of the lesser lines may have no service on Sundays, or even Saturdays. Service is somewhat less frequent after about 6 PM, less frequent on Saturdays, and even less frequent on Sundays. During the school vacation (mid-June to mid-August), buses are also less frequent. On Christmas Eve (December 24), there are no buses after about 4 PM. On Constitution Day (May 17), the parades and celebrations shut down the downtown streets, though buses do run to and from downtown, they will generally not run through downtown on that day.
After about 1AM, regular bus services cease to run. On the weekends, there are a few so-called night bus lines available. Tickets are more expensive than on the regular lines (kr. 50 within city limits), and fare cards can not be used.
There are two free bus alternatives within the city center. Sentrumsbussen (the downtown bus) runs on weekdays between 7:30AM and 9PM from Møhlenpris by Vilvite (departures every 10 minutes), to Christies gate, the bus station, the fish market, Øvregaten, Bryggen, back to the fish market, through Småstrandgaten and back to Møhlenpris. Second, regular buses labeled with the "100"-number can be used to or from the downtown stop Olav Kyrres gate to make the short hop to or from the bus station free of charge.
Note: Unfortunately, stops are not announced on a display nor by voice, except for the few trolleybuses in operation on line 2. The bus driver will usually be able to assist you in English, if required.
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