Temporary Hours Change

Starting Monday, May 4th, 2020, in coordination with Wadena County Public Health, Friendly Rider’s hours for Dispatching are Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Service is closed on Saturdays.

Here to get you there


Friendly Rider buses serve the cities of Wadena and Staples daily from 6 am to 6 pm. We also have daily service in many other communities such as Eagle Bend, Clarissa, Browerville, Verndale, Aldrich, Motley, Bertha, and Hewitt. Hours of operation vary in our secondary cities but we serve each city listed at least once a day.

First time riding? Welcome!

We strive to make riding the bus enjoyable and convenient. Once you try it, we know you will see how easy it is to ride with us. 

Here's how to ride the bus step-by-step:

  1. Schedule your trip by calling (218) 631-5730 or schedule online. Scheduling in advance (at least 2 hours ahead) will help us shorten your wait times for pick up and drop off. 
  2. Be ready at least 15 minutes before your pick up time at your pick up location.
  3. Be ready to board with exact change or a valid ticket or pass. If you need to purchase tickets or a pass, please have your money ready when you board.
  4. As the bus approaches, Stay back from the curb and wait until the bus comes to a complete stop. If you need to use a boarding ramp or lift, just ask the operator.
  5. Board and pay your fare. Find a seat and place your belongings with you.
  6. When you arrive at your destination, gather all your personal items and leave through the main door. If you need to use the lift or need assistance, the driver will help you.

For your safety

  • Never cross the street in front of a bus unless it’s stopped at a red light.
  • Keep your kids close to make sure you don’t get separated.
  • If you see suspicious behavior or a suspicious package, or if there is an emergency or unsafe situation on board, tell a Friendly Rider employee or call 9-1-1.

How Much?

Pay for your bus trip one of three ways (cash, tickets, or monthly passes).

Prices for each one-way trip:
$1.50 for 0-5 miles
$3.00 for 6-10 miles
$4.50 for 10+ miles

Purchase tickets and save:
$15.00 for a book of 12 tickets (you save $3.00!)
1 Ticket for 0-5 miles (one-way)
2 Tickets for 6-10 miles (one-way)
3 Tickets for 10+ miles (one-way)

An UNLIMITED 1-month pass may be used as many times a day as you wish:
$35.00 for 0-5 miles
$70.00 for 6-10 miles
$100 unlimited miles

Pay Your Fare

It's easy to pay your fare on Friendly Rider.

When you board the bus, simply place your exact cash fare or ticket in the farebox. Fareboxes accept any combination of bills and coins (including $1 coins), as well as tickets.

Important note: Bus drivers cannot make change!

When using a monthly pass, simply show your pass to the driver and have a seat. Do not place your pass in the farebox.

Ready to Ride?

You can schedule your trip and purchase tickets or passes all online. No muss, no fuss. 


Riders have responsibilities, too. The following rules are enforced by Friendly Rider personnel and carry a penalty up to $250 and/or exclusion from the transit system


    A valid ticket, pass or correct cash fare is required on Friendly Rider. Without it, you could be fined up to $250, excluded from the system or arrested.


    Make sure to cancel your ride if your plans change. You may call (218) 631-5730 24-hours a day to leave a message for trip changes. If you schedule a ride and don't get on within 3 minutes of the bus' arrival time, you are considered a no-show. If you have 3 no-shows, you may be suspended from riding the bus for 30 days. 


    Move for seniors and people with disabilities.
    In the priority seating area by the door, you are required to move for seniors and people with disabilities. They need that seat more than you do! (It’s okay to use this area as long as it is not occupied or needed.)


    Don’t threaten or intimidate riders or operators.
    It’s unlawful to threaten the safety of a rider, the driver, or interfere with the movement of a bus.


    Don’t be so loud that you disturb others.
    Everyone deserves a comfortable ride. Excessive noise is not allowed on Friendly Rider.


    Don’t block the aisles or doors.
    If you have a bag or bike, make sure it’s not blocking the aisle or doorway. On buses with steps, strollers must be folded after boarding.


    If you bring a pet, keep it in a closed carrier.
    Unless it’s a service animal, your pet must be kept in a carrier.


    Eating is not allowed on Friendly Rider vehicles, but you can bring food and drinks on board in closed containers.


    Smoking is prohibited on buses and transit centers. If you smoke while waiting for the bus, be considerate of your fellow riders by moving away from the bus stop.

Need more information?

We want to help! Feel free to check our Frequent Asked Questions page for answers or send us a message with your questions.