Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) METRO Fare Cards
Q: How do METRO fare cards benefit me?
A: METRO fare cards are the quick and convenient way to pay for METRO services, and they offer outstanding benefits:
- Faster boarding
- Free transfers (valid for three hours of travel in any direction)
- Card balance protection with registration
- Full-time students and seniors can obtain and renew their METRO Q® Fare Card
- Disabled citizens and Medicare cardholders with requisite documentation will need to visit the METRO RideStore at 1900 Main St. to change their cards to discounted
- Provides discounts at select businesses along the METRORail system through the
METRO Rider Rewards program
Q: How do I use my fare card?
Whether you’re traveling by bus or rail, the Q Box is the place to pay with your METRO fare card. Just tap your METRO Q® Fare Card or METRO Day Pass on the Q Box to pay for your trip. The Q Box is located at the front of the bus, next to the operator, and on all METRORail platforms. Tip: Hold your card to the Q Box and the screen will display your remaining balance – including how many rides you’ve taken.
Q: Can I use my card to pay for other riders?
A: No. METRO fare cards can only pay one fare at a time. If you attempt to tap your card twice, a red light will flash and the words “NO PASSBACK” will appear on screen. The
red light indicates that you have already paid your fare and that your card cannot be
charged for tapping twice.
Q: Can I transfer funds from card to card?
A: The transferring of a balance from a previous card to a new card cannot be done remotely. For security reasons this must be done at The METRO RideStore, Treasury window, located on the first floor of 1900 Main St., Houston, TX 77002
Q: How do I transfer with the card?
A: Transfers are free with both the METRO Q® Fare Card and METRO Day Pass. Transfers are valid for up to three hours of travel in any direction.
Q: How do METRO fare cards benefit frequent riders?
A: METRO Q® Fare Card – Receive five FREE rides for every fifty paid rides when paying with your card. METRO Day Pass – Riders making three or more trips within a given day will enjoy unlimited local bus and light-rail service for that day – all for just three paid taps of your card.
Q: How do I reload my METRO fare card?
A: It’s easy to reload your METRO fare card at locations throughout the city, including all train platforms, local buses, both the 1900 Main St. and 1001 Travis RideStores, and area retailers:
- TVM (Ticket Vending Machine) – Located on all METRORail platforms, these machines allow you to reload your METRO fare card using cash or a credit/debit card
- CVM (Credit Vending Machine) – Located at Park & Rides and select Transit Centers, these machines allow you to reload your METRO fare card using a credit/debit card only
- BBR (Back of Bus Reloader) – Found at the rear of all local METRO buses, the BBR allows you to reload your METRO fare card using cash only – no change is provided
- Website – Manage and reload funds on your METRO fare card or call 713-635-4000 to get your password, then access the “Reload My METRO Fare Card” page located under the “Fares...” tab. You’ll be able to check your balance, sign up for a subscription payment service, or reload your METRO fare card
- Area Retailers – METRO fare cards are available at participating retailers across the region.
Q: What is the cost of the METRO Q® Fare Card?
A: The initial cards will be provided free of charge but you have to add funds to make it work.
Q: How can I protect my card balance?
A: Register your card to protect your balance or call to register your card by phone 713-635-4000.
Q: What if the card is not registered and it is lost or stolen what happens next?
The balance is not protected on anonymous (non-registered) cards.
Q: What if the card is registered and it is lost or stolen what happens next?
A: If the card is lost or stolen it is best to come to the METRO RideStore at 1900 Main St., Houston, Texas 77002, 1st floor METRO Treasury window to get a replacement card and have the remaining balance transferred to a new card. The lost or stolen card will be deactivated after the cardholder shows proof of ownership to the registered card. If the card is stolen you must have a police report as proof.
Q: Does METRO offer replacement cards by mail, phone or internet service?
A: No. METRO does not mail replacement cards and does not offer replacement cards via phone or internet.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) METRO Day Pass
Q: What is a METRO Day Pass?
A: The METRO Day Pass is reloadable fare media, offering unlimited local bus and rail service for just three paid taps of your card. You never pay more than $3 a day to ride our local bus or rail service.
Q: How much does the METRO Day Pass cost?
A: The METRO Day Pass costs only $3 and requires three paid taps to activate:
- Tap #1 - $1.25 (Full Fare)
- Tap #2 - $1.25 (Full Fare)
- Tap #3 - $.50 (Capped)
- Tap #4 or more (FREE)
Q: Can I get the benefits of the METRO Day Pass by paying my fare with cash or a METRO Q® Fare Card?
A: No. The METRO Day Pass is only available when using a reloadable METRO Day Pass fare card.
Q: If I only pay for two rides, can I be charged for the METRO Day Pass?
A: No. The full-fare METRO Day Pass requires three paid taps to activate. If only two paid taps are made in a single day, then the card will only be charged $1.25 per ride. Should you tap and pay a third time, your card will only be charged an additional .50 and your METRO Day Pass will be activated. Every tap that follows is FREE! You never pay more than $3 a day to ride our local bus or rail service.
Q: Where can I get a METRO Day Pass?
A: METRO Day Passes can be purchased at the METRO RideStore located at 1900 Main St., participating retailers, and the METRO website. Find a list of retailers or call 713-635-4000.
Q: Is there a discounted METRO Day Pass for seniors (Ages 65 - 69), students and the disabled?
A: Yes. The same qualifying criteria for a discounted METRO Q® Fare Card apply to the METRO Day Pass.
Q: Can I pay for Park & Ride service with the METRO Day Pass?
A: Yes. However, only paid taps used on local bus or rail service can be counted toward your METRO Day Pass.
Q: Where can I purchase a discounted METRO Day Pass?
A: Students, seniors and riders with disabilities can obtain their Discount METRO Day Pass at our RideStore located at 1900 Main St. Students and seniors may apply online.
Q: How much MONEY can I load onto the METRO Day Pass?
A: There is a $3 minimum load for the METRO Day Pass; however, you can load up to $500 per card.
Q: Where can I reload the METRO Day Pass?
A: The METRO Day Pass can be reloaded at the following locations:
- METRO RideStore – 1900 Main St.
- Participating Retail Locations
- METRO Website (RideMETRO.org)
- Ticket Vending Machines (rail platforms)
- Back of the Bus Reloaders (local buses)
- Credit Point of Sale (Park & Ride locations)