All About Fares

The more often you ride, the more money you save. With our 5 for 50 offer, you earn five free single ride trips for every 50 single ride trips you purchase using a METRO Q® Fare Card or a METRO Q Mobile Ticket.

On this page, you’ll find information about:

  • Regular and discounted fares for our transit services
  • Ways to pay for your ride
  • Where to get fare cards or ride tickets
  • How to pay your fare when you board
METRO Police officer assisting customers purchase rail fare items at Ticket Vending Machine.

Fares


ServiceFare ZoneRegular FareDiscounted Fare
Local Bus
METRORail
METRORapid
METRO curb2curb
n/a
$1.25
$0.60
Park & Ride Commuter Express Bus

Routes are divided into different zones throughout Houston and Harris County. Your fare is based on the zone where you board.

See what zone you're in

Zone 1
$2.00
$1.00
Zone 2
$3.25
$1.60
Zone 3
$3.75
$1.85
Zone 4
$4.50
$2.25
Zone 7
$8.00
$4.00
METROLift

To use this service, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. Learn more about METROLift

METRO STAR Vanpool

To use this service, you must first register for an account. Learn more about METRO Star Vanpool

Three images side by side. Left to right: Student rider on local bus; METRO Public Engagement staff assisting senior citizen at a public event; Powered wheelchair rider getting onboard local bus at the Downtown Transit Center.

If you’re a student, senior 65-69, or a person with a disability who isn't a METROLift customer, you may be eligible for a discounted fare.

Ways to Pay

With the exception of vending machine tickets and cash, all ways to pay shown below include free transfers between any METRO services of equal or lesser value for up to three hours in any direction. For transfers to a service with a higher cost, you only pay the fare difference for up to three hours in any direction.

METRO Q Fare Card

METRO Q® Fare Card

Functions as a debit card for riding METRO. You can continually load and store money on it – and then money will be deducted each time you pay your fare.

What services can you pay for with it?
Local Bus
Park & Ride Commuter Express Bus
METRORail
METRORapid
METRO curb2curb
Where can you get one?

Obtain and load - or reload a card


Obtain and load only


Buy preloaded card


Reload only

 

What can you use to load or reload money on it?
  • Cash
  • Credit card
  • Debit card

    Exceptions:
  • Reload machines on local buses accept cash only (no coins).
  • Oval-shaped vending machines at METRO Park & Ride lots and select transit centers accept credit/debit only.
  • METRO RideStore at Downtown Transit Center accepts check or money order as well.
  • METRO RideStore at Main Street Square doesn't accept cash.
  • METRO Online RideStore doesn’t accept cash.
METRO Q Mobile Ticket

METRO Q Mobile Ticket

Purchase and use mobile tickets (regular fare only) on your smartphone.

What services can you pay for with it?
Local Bus
Park & Ride Commuter Express Bus
METRORail
METRORapid
METRO curb2curb
Where can you purchase a mobile ticket?

Experienced riders:

We recommend you download the free METRO Q Ticketing App. When you first open the app, you’ll need to create a secure, password-protected account. That will allow you to purchase and activate mobile tickets.


New or occasional riders:

We recommend you download both of the following:

  • RideMETRO App
  • METRO Q Ticketing App

The RideMETRO App offers a variety of tools and information you may find useful. That includes one-tap access to the companion METRO Q Ticketing App where you can purchase and activate mobile tickets.

What can you use to load or reload money on it?
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • PayPal
  • Apple Pay (iOS devices only)
  • Google Pay (Android devices only)
METRO Day Pass

METRO Day Pass

Functions as a debit card for riding METRO. It allows you to ride local service as often as you like during the day for a maximum of $3 (regular fare) or $1.50 (discounted fare). Using a day pass on Park & Ride service may require an upcharge.

What services can you pay for with it?
Local Bus
Park & Ride Commuter Express Bus
METRORail
METRORapid
METRO curb2curb
Where can you get one?

Obtain and load - or reload a card


Obtain and load only


Reload only

 

    What can you use to load or reload money on it?
    • Cash
    • Credit card
    • Debit card

      Exceptions:
    • Reload machines on local buses accept cash only (no coins).
    • Oval-shaped vending machines at METRO Park & Ride lots and select transit centers accept credit/debit only.
    • METRO RideStore at Downtown Transit Center accepts check or money order as well.
    • METRO RideStore at Main Street Square doesn't accept cash.
    • METRO Online RideStore doesn’t accept cash.
    METRO Money

    METRO Money

    A disposable smart card, preloaded with one of these amounts: $1.25; $5; $10; $20. These cards can’t be reloaded.

    What services can you pay for with it?
    Local Bus
    Park & Ride Commuter Express Bus
    METRORail
    METRORapid
    METRO curb2curb
    Where can you purchase one?

        What can you use to purchase one?
        • Cash
        • Credit card
        • Debit card

          Exceptions:
        • METRO RideStore at Downtown Transit Center accepts check or money order as well.
        • METRO RideStore at Main Street Square doesn't accept cash.
        • METRO Online RideStore doesn't accept cash.
        METRO vending machine ticket

        Vending Machine Ticket

        METRORail tickets are only valid on METRORail. METRORapid tickets are only valid on METRORapid.

        What services can you pay for with it?
        METRORail
        METRORapid
        Where can you purchase one?


        For METRORail:


        For METRORapid:

            What can you use to purchase one?
            • Cash
            • Credit card
            • Debit card
            Cash

            Cash

            When paying your fare with cash, you can use bills and/or coins.

            What services can you pay for with it?
            Local Bus
            Park & Ride Commuter Express Bus

            For METRORail and METRORapid, cash can be used to purchase a vending machine ticket. You can't pay with cash as you board.

            Where do you place cash?

            As you board, you’ll place your bills and/or coins into the fare box directly in front of the bus operator.

            Do you need to pay with exact change?

            Yes. METRO bus operators can’t provide change.

            What To Do When Boarding

            If you're paying with:You need to:
            METRO Q Fare Card
            METRO Q® Fare Card
            METRO Day Pass
            METRO Day Pass
            METRO Money
            METRO Money

            Tap card on fare validator, or hold your card near validator until light registers green. 

            On buses and curb2curb:
            It's located inside vehicle as you board.

            On METRORail and METRORapid:
            It's located on platform where you board.

            METRO Q Mobile Ticket
            METRO Q Mobile Ticket

            Show to operator when boarding Local bus, Park & Ride bus or METRO curb2curb.

            Show to
             METRO Fare Inspector or METRO Police Officer, upon request, prior to boarding or during your ride on METRORail or METRORapid.

            A dollar bill with a quarter sitting next to it
            Cash

            Place in fare box inside vehicle as you board Local bus, Park & Ride bus or METRO curb2curb (no change provided).

            Purchase a vending machine ticket prior to boarding METRORail or METRORapid.

            METRO vending machine ticket
            Vending Machine Ticket

            Show to METRO Fare Inspector, upon request, prior to boarding or during your ride on METRORail or METRORapid.

            Retail Locations

            There are more than 200 retailers across the Houston region where you can obtain or reload a METRO Q® Fare Card or METRO Day Pass. Many of these retailers also sell tickets and passes for our paratransit service, METROLift. Just enter your ZIP code below to find stores near you. Each entry will show what you can obtain at that location.

            Find Your Store

            Map of Retail Locations

            Click or tap on any map marker for more details, including address, phone number and ticket types available. The plus and minus symbols in the lower left allow you to zoom in or out. And the square icon in the upper right allows you to open a larger version of the map in a new window. This map is more easily viewed on a desktop computer.

            Common Questions

            Costs

            For the following services, the regular fare to board is $1.25 and the discounted fare is 60 cents:

            • Local bus
            • METRORail
            • METRORapid
            • METRO curb2curb

            For METRO Park & Ride bus service, the regular fare to board ranges from $2-8 depending on your location. The discounted fare is half price.

            Yes. You’re eligible for a discounted fare on Local bus, Park & Ride bus, METRORail, METRORapid and METRO curb2curb if you fit any of these categories:

            • Student (K-12 or college)
            • Senior 65-69
            • Person with a disability who isn't a METROLift customer

            Yes. You’re eligible to ride free on Local bus, Park & Ride bus, METRORail, METRORapid and METRO curb2curb if you fit any of these categories:

            • Senior 70+ with a discounted METRO Q® Fare Card
            • Disabled or decorated veteran with a METRO Veterans Pass
            • METROLift customer with a METROLift Freedom Q Card, and up to one assistant
            • Child five or younger, accompanied by an adult

            Fare Cards

            You can obtain a METRO Q® Fare Card, METRO Day Pass or METRO Money Card at any of the following:

            You have the option of loading money on your card when you first obtain it. Reload options vary by fare card and location.

            Additional payment options to ride METRO can be obtained through other sources.

            More details can be found on the All About Fares page.

            The METRO Q® Fare Card and METRO Day Pass both function as debit cards for riding METRO. You can continually load and store money on either of them – and then money will be deducted each time you pay your fare.

            METRO Money Cards come preloaded with certain dollar amounts and can’t be reloaded.

            If you have a registered METRO Q® Fare Card or METRO Day Pass and would like to check its balance, visit the Reload Your Fare Card page for more information, or do any of the following:

            • Call METRO Customer Service at 713-635-4000
            • Visit any METRO RideStore location
            • Look at the fare validator screen after tapping or waving your card to pay your fare

            Paying Your Fare

            All of the following services accept a METRO Q® Fare Card, METRO Q mobile ticket, METRO Day Pass and METRO Money card:

            • Local bus
            • Park & Ride bus
            • METRORail
            • METRORapid
            • METRO curb2curb

            Other payment options vary by service. 

            More details can be found on the All About Fares page.

            If you’re a METROLift customer or looking to become one, more details about payment options can be found on the METROLift page.

            This varies by service and what you use to pay your fare.

            More details can be found on the All About Fares page.

            Yes – if you pay with a METRO Q® Fare Card, METRO Day Pass or METRO Money card. 

            The transfer policy below applies to the following services:

            • Local bus
            • Park & Ride bus
            • METRORail
            • METRORapid
            • METRO curb2curb

            You receive free transfers between any METRO service of equal or lesser value for up to three hours in any direction.

            For transfers to a service with a higher cost, you only pay the fare difference for up to three hours in any direction.

            If you pay with a METRO Q Mobile Ticket, the transfer policies differ depending on what type of mobile ticket you purchase.

            Other

            If you own a vehicle, driving less would save you money on gas, maintenance and/or parking fees. You might also qualify for lower auto insurance rates. 

            To do a more specific calculation that accounts for these factors, you can use METRO’s Savings Calculator.

            If you can document this, you’re eligible to have your account balance refunded for any of the following:

            • METRO Q® Fare Card
            • METRO Day Pass
            • METRO Q Mobile Ticket

            Please visit any METRO RideStore location or contact Customer Service at 713-635-4000 and they can assist you.

            Yes. You can find it on the Fare Policies and Procedures page.

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