How To Use METRO Fare Cards

Your METRO Q® Fare Card is the quick and convenient way to pay for METRO services and enjoy other outstanding benefits:

  • 5 free trips for every 50 paid trips
  • Faster boarding
  • Free transfers (valid for three hours any direction)
  • Card balance protection with registration
  • Students and seniors can now obtain and renew their METRO Q® Fare Card online at RideMETRO.org. Disabled citizens and Medicare cardholders with requisite documentation will need to visit the METRO RideStore at 1900 Main to change their card to discounted status.
  • Enjoy discounts at select businesses along the METRORail with METRO's Q Star® Program

How To Use the METRO Day Pass

The METRO Day Pass offers the best value for frequent local bus and rail riders who travel three or more times daily.

Valid only on the day of activation – expires 2 a.m. the following morning.

Free Transfers (up to three hours in any direction) for the first two paid fares. Enjoy unlimited travel, in any direction, after your third paid fare - same day only.

50% discount for students, seniors and disabled riders. Riders can preload up to $500 per card.

Frequent users are rewarded the same day, offering unlimited local bus and rail service.

Activates after three paid taps of your card.

Never pay more than $3 a day – no matter how often you ride.

Valid on METRO Park & Ride service; however, paid fares will not count toward the unlimited local bus and rail travel benefit.

Reuse and Reload

Not only is the METRO Q® Fare Card your quick and convenient form of payment for METRO buses and rail, it's also reusable. Reload your METRO Q® Fare Card at locations throughout the city, or directly on a rail platform or bus. Customer should maintain possession of the METRO Q® Fare Card or any other fare item upon boarding the bus or train as proof of paid fare.

Ticket Vending Machines (TVM)

TVM – Located on rail platforms, for getting a rail tickets; NOTE: some versions of these TVMs are for reloading your METRO Fare Card, some you can purchase a $5 METRO Fare Card or $5 METRO Money, paying with only cash, debit or credit.

graphic of three different types of TVMs.

graphic of CVM

Credit Vending Machine (CVM)

CVM – Located at Park & Ride locations, at 1001 Travis and 1900 Main RideStores, these machines allow you to reload your METRO Fare Card with a credit/debit card only.

graphic of BBR

On-board Reloader - Back of Bus Reloader (BBR)

BBR – Found at the rear of all local METRO buses, the BBR allows you to reload your METRO Fare Card using cash only - no coins.
  • Insert your money in the slot
  • No coins please
  • Only one bill at a time
  • Accepts $1, $5, $10, $20
  • Place Q Card in Q Card holder
  • Value is automatically put on Q Card
Information on Ticket Vending Machines, Credit Vending Machine & Back of the Bus Reloader
 

Machine Type

Locations

Change Provided

Payment Types

Services

TVM 1

Most Red and Green Line Station Platforms

Yes

Cash
Debit/Credit

Rail Ticket
Fare Card Reload

TVM 2

Most Green and Purple Line Station Platforms

Yes

Cash
Debit/Credit

Rail Ticket
$5 METRO Q Fare Card
$5 METRO Money

TVM 3

Most Red, Green and Purple Line Station Platforms

No

Cash
Debit/Credit

Rail Ticket Only
CVM Park & Rides/Select Transit Centers No Debit/Credit Fare Card Reload Only
BBR Majority of METRO Local Buses No Cash - no coins Fare Card Reload Only

Using the Q Box is easy!

Tap It - Tap your Q Card on the Q Box to pay for your trip. The screen will show your new balance
and how many rides you've taken.

No Passback - If you tap your Q Card twice a red light turns on. The screen will read NO PASS BACK. The red light indicates you've already paid for the trip. You will not be charged again if you tap twice.

Transfers - Transfers are free and will be recorded automatically on your Q Card. They are valid for up to three hours.

Protect Your Balance

Register your new card to protect your balance if your card is lost or stolen. Call 713-635-4000.

 

NOTE: All METRO realoading machines listed above work the same way for all METRO fare cards.