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Preparing for Your Trip

Way to be a decision maker! You’re going to take that trip and you’ve booked your Jefferson Lines bus ticket, now what? Preparing for long distance bus travel can be stressful; here are a few important tips to help make your trip a success and more enjoyable.

Packing for the Trip

Jefferson Lines allows three FREE bags per adult ticket and passenger. You can bring one free carry-on and two free checked bags that can go underneath the bus. The carry-on must be able to fit in the overhead compartment or underneath your seat without blocking the aisle. The maximum allowable size for checked baggage is 62 inches when adding the total exterior dimensions of the piece (length + width + height) and must not weigh more than 50 lbs.

This is usually plenty of baggage to accommodate most of our passengers. However, if you’re a bit indecisive about what to pack and what to leave behind, don’t worry! Check a second bag underneath the bus for just $20. Need more?

Please visit our Baggage Policy for more options and all things baggage.

Finding your Bus Stop

Jefferson Lines provides direct service to 14 states from Wisconsin to Montana and Minnesota to Oklahoma with connections to thousands more destinations through other cross-state bus companies. Each bus stop location offers a variety of services depending on the type of location it is. Here’s what you can expect from the different locations you may travel to.

Full Service Depots

In major cities, Jefferson Lines and our travel partners provide full service depots that serve as a bus stop location and offers ticketing and Package Express service. Most of these locations provide extended hours of operation for your convenience.


Jefferson Lines partners with many local businesses such as transit stations and convenience stores. Many of these locations serve as bus stops and provide ticketing services; however some may offer just one or the other. Please check our Bus Stops page for specific details.

Bus Stops Only

Some of our locations serve only as bus stops and may be at transit stations or convenience stores that can provide shelter from weather elements while others may be bus shelters or curbside stops.

To find your Jefferson Lines bus stop location, please visit Bus Stops for a complete list.

Please note that although overnight parking is available at many locations, it is not at every location. Passengers should plan on contacting their departing location for availability and details.

Getting Ready to Depart

Passengers need to arrive at least 15 to 20 minutes prior to your departure time with a valid form of ID at boarding.

Major locations that are full service depots may require an arrival of up to 20 minutes prior to departure. This will allow you time to purchase tickets if you have not yet done so, check and tag any luggage you may have, and locate the proper departure gate or spot.

Please note that during peak travel seasons and holidays, you should anticipate arriving earlier than the regular suggested time as locations will be busier than usual.

Depending on the type of location you are departing from, boarding announcements are usually made approximately 15 minutes prior to the departure time. The announcement will include the schedule number, departure time, destination(s), and departure gate.

Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and will occur in the order that passengers are in line. However, accommodations for disabled and senior passengers will be made in entirety when possible. Advance purchase tickets do not guarantee a seat.

If you are departing from a bus stop only location, announcements are not always possible and you should attentively watch for the arrival of your bus. At some locations, the driver may enter the facility to make the announcement when the bus arrives.

On the Bus

Jefferson Lines understands that your time is valuable and we do our best to provide on-time service, however we do not guarantee arrival and departure times. As with other public transportation services, delays are possible due to a variety of reasons including, but not limited to mechanical failures, traffic/road conditions, and/or weather conditions. Jefferson Lines is not responsible for delays and connections caused by conditions beyond our reasonable control. You may keep tabs on the status of your bus by using Bus Tracker.


All buses are equipped with air conditioning, an on-board restroom, reclining seats, footrests and tinted windows. Jefferson Lines buses are also equipped with complimentary WiFi and outlets. Check out our Bus Amenities page for a complete list of comforts.

Food and Drink

Food and non-alcoholic beverages may be carried on board. Federal law prohibits smoking on Jefferson Lines buses. We have a zero tolerance for alcohol, drugs, weapons and unruly behavior.

Jefferson Lines shall have the right to refuse transport or to remove from the motorcoach at any point due to reason of health and security, conduct that is disorderly offensive, abusive, illegal, violent, and/or interferes with the duties of the driver.

For your convenience, trash bags are located at the front and back of the bus. Please help us keep our coaches clean.

You’ve Arrived at Your Destination

For your safety and the safety of other passengers, please remain seated until the coach has come to a complete stop at the arrival gate or location. Before leaving your seat, please take an extra moment to ensure that you have all of your personal belongings with you. You know those cell phones have a tendency to fall in between seats or tight spaces! Jefferson Lines is not responsible for any lost, stolen, or damaged belongings left unattended on the bus or at any bus stop location.

Please use caution when opening the overhead luggage compartments to grab your carry-on as contents may have shifted during transit. Be sure to meet the driver or baggage porters by the side of the bus to retrieve any luggage you may have checked underneath the bus.

And there you have it! Everything you need to know about preparing for long distance bus travel with Jefferson Lines in a nutshell – kind of. Enjoy your trip and happy travels!