What You Need To Know About Riding Jefferson Lines

How Jefferson Lines Bus Service Works

Boarding generally begins 15 to 30 minutes before departure. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance purchase tickets do not guarantee a seat however allow carriers to better plan capacity.

Please arrive at the terminal or bus stop location at least 30 minutes prior to departure. At major locations it may be necessary to arrive up to 1 hour prior to departure.

When Jefferson Lines fills a regularly scheduled bus with passengers during times of peak demand, Jefferson Lines plans for additional buses to accommodate passengers beyond the seating capacity of a single bus for any given schedule. However, our ability to add extra sections depends on the availability of buses, drivers and the number of passengers.

When picking up passengers en route (such as at a rest stop), continuing passengers who de-boarded at the rest stop are given priority to re-board.

Jefferson Lines buses travel around the clock, so you can travel by day and enjoy the scenery through wide panoramic windows. Or, select a night service, and relax in a reclining seat with reduced interior lighting.

Most buses make intermediate stops to pick up additional passengers en route to their destinations. In addition to stops en route, buses make rest stops every few hours, and meal stops are scheduled as close to normal meal times as possible.

For information on parking at Jefferson Lines locations, please contact the location nearest you.

*Jefferson Lines does not accept discounts, coupons, or vouchers from other carriers.

Enjoy Your Trip

All Jefferson Lines buses are equipped with air conditioning, an on-board restroom, reclining seats with headrests, footrests and tinted windows. Feel free to bring reading material, radio headsets and a small pillow for your comfort. Food and non-alcoholic beverages may be carried on board for personal consumption.

Radios, laptops and other electronic items may be carried on board, provided that they do not disturb fellow passengers and that headphones are used. (External power outlets are NOT available on Jefferson Lines buses.)

Customers who need travel assistance are encouraged to call Jefferson Lines at 800-451-5333 at least 48 hours prior to departure.

On Board Restrictions

For everyone's safety and comfort, Jefferson Lines asks that customers please follow certain restrictions while on board. Federal law does not permit smoking on Jefferson Lines buses. We have a zero tolerance for alcohol, drugs, weapons and unruly behavior.

For your safety and the safety of those around you, passengers should remain seated while the bus is in motion. Audio, video and camera equipment should be stored with other carry-ons when not in use.

No dogs, cats, birds, or other animals will be transported. However, a service animal, trained for the purpose of accompanying a disabled person, will be permitted to travel with the disabled person at no additional charge.

Travel to Canada or Mexico

A valid U.S. passport or proof of citizenship AND photo identification are required to enter Canada or Mexico. A valid passport or alien registration card is required for non-U.S. citizens traveling into Canada or Mexico.

Proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, is also required for all children traveling. A guardian traveling with children must provide proof of custody or notarized parental authorization for travel.

Baggage is subject to inspection when crossing either border. You will be asked to declare any items subject to duty upon crossing the border. Jefferson Lines is not responsible for any baggage crossing the border into Canada or Mexico. Passengers must claim all baggage at the border crossing point before proceeding. No baggage is allowed across the border unless claimed by a passenger.

Passengers denied entry into Canada or Mexico must purchase another ticket to return to their origin location.

Traveling with Children

Children under the age of fifteen (15) cannot travel on Jefferson Lines alone and must be accompanied by someone at least seventeen (17) years of age or older.

Children ages fifteen (15) and sixteen (16) years old can travel alone (unaccompanied) subject to the following restrictions:

1) An Unaccompanied Child Form must be completed at the station at the time of purchase so that the child passenger's ID can be verified, Jefferson Lines can receive consent for the child to travel, and a designated person is assigned to pick up the child at the destination. These steps are necessary to ensure the safe travel of the unaccompanied child.

2) The trip should be direct (no transfer of schedules or buses).

3) The trip cannot exceed a maximum of 8 hours of travel each way (outbound or return) and must occur during the hours of 7:00AM and 8:00PM.

4) The origin and destination stations should be fully serviced Jefferson Lines stations (no curbside stops) and the station should be open when the child's bus is schedule to arrive.

5) The child must have and carry with him/her a copy of the signed Unaccompanied Child Form, giving them permission to travel.

6) The person named on the Unaccompanied Form who is picking up the child must present positive photo ID, such as a driver's license or state issued ID. Without the correct ID, the child may be released into the custody of Child Protective Services or to local law enforcement.

7) Tickets for unaccompanied children can only be purchased in person (not online) at the departing Jefferson Lines station.

8) A $5 fee for one-way travel or $10 fee for roundtrip travel must be paid at the point of purchase for each child traveling unaccompanied.

Unaccompanied Child Form: The parent, Guardian, or legal custodian of the child must complete and sign the Unaccompanied Child Form, in person at the originating Jefferson Lines station, authorizing the child to make the trip. The form must be returned to the station manager on duty. The form specifically names the person authorizing the trip, the designated person meeting the child at the destination station, and the telephone number(s) at which both persons may be contacted. It must also provide an emergency contact name and telephone number in the event it is needed.

Tickets for unaccompanied children are not sold online.


In accordance with Illinois state law, NO tickets will be sold to unaccompanied minor children under the age of 17 for interstate or intrastate travel from locations within the state of Illinois.

Fares And Discounts For Children

Special discounts for children are available on tickets purchased less than 7 days in advance.

Child Safety Seats

Customers are welcome to use child safety seats on Jefferson Lines buses. Parents traveling with children who do not require a ticket may travel with the child in the adjoining seat at no cost unless seating capacity becomes an issue. At that point the driver will ask the customer to hold the child and check the car seat underneath the coach to make room for ticketed passengers. In order to guarantee use of the adjoining seat the space must be purchased at the discounted child fare. You should ensure that your child seat has been approved for use in a motor vehicle, and is used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

It is your responsibility to secure the child seat to the bus seat with strapping or webbing that is approved by the child seat manufacturer. You are responsible for providing the strapping or the webbing. You should also secure your child in the child seat with a manufacturer-approved lap and/or shoulder belt/harness. Jefferson Lines does not provide lap and/or shoulder belts/harnesses.