There are numerous bus services in the Ripon area, allowing many people in Ripon to rely on the local bus service to travel to work, school or in leisure time. Ripon does not have a train station, but bus links are available from Harrogate and York railway stations.

There are bus links around the city itself and to surrounding villages and attractions, including Fountains Abbey. There are also main bus routes to surrounding towns and cities, including Leeds, Harrogate, Knaresborough, Boroughbridge, York, Leyburn and Richmond.

The main bus service to Harrogate and Leeds, route 36, operates with modern, luxury double-decker buses every 20 minutes on Monday to Saturday daytimes, half-hourly on Sunday daytimes and hourly during the evening.

On Summer Sundays and Bank Holidays (Easter until mid October) there are DalesBus links from Ripon to on route 820 to Leyburn and Richmond, and on route 812 to Pateley Bridge and Grassington (Yorkshire Dales National Park).