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MATBUS Connect - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you better understand our new MATBUS Connect program for payments. Please choose one of the categories below, or scroll to view the questions and their answers.



General Questions

What is the MATBUS Connect program?

MATBUS Connect is the new fare management program that allows greater freedom and security for riders. We are introducing the Connect Card, Connect App, and Connect Portal. With these features, you can load money to your account from anywhere with an internet connection, pay on the bus using your smart phone, and protect your funds if your card is lost or stolen. MATBUS Connect is account based, which means you can load your card or app with any amount you choose, rather than paying for a monthly pass upfront. Your fare is deducted from your account each time you ride, with daily and monthly payment limits (fare capping).

How can I pay for my ride on the bus?

You can pay with the Connect Card, the Connect App or cash.

Are fare prices changing?

The price for a single ride remains the same: $1.50 for adults and $0.75 for elderly, disabled and youth.

We are introducing fare capping, which means you will always get the best price for your ride. Each fare builds toward a daily or monthly limit, so you will never pay more than necessary. Without Connect, the price for a day pass is $5.00. When using Connect (Connect card or mobile app), the daily limit is $3.00. The adult price for a 30-day pass used to be $40.00, and now the 31-day limit is $42.00. The discount price for a 30-day pass used to be $26.00, and now the 31-day limit is $27.00. The youth 90-day pass used to be $26.00, and now the 90-day limit is $27.00.

What is fare capping?

Fare capping is a feature that gives you the best value for your rides. The new Connect system is account based, so a fare is deducted from your account every time you ride. With fare capping, your payments are limited in a daily or 31-day time period. Rather than buying a day pass, you stop paying for rides after spending $3.00 in a day. Rather than buying a 30-day pass, you stop paying for rides after spending $42.00 (adult) or $27.00 (discount) in a 31-day period. The Connect system tracks your spending, so you never overpay.

We recommend that you use either the card OR the mobile app, but not both. Fare capping works best when you only use one method for all of your rides. If you use both the card and the app, you will end up paying more than you need to.

How many times do I have to ride before I hit my fare capping spending limit?

All riders have a daily fare cap of $3.00. If an adult rides 2+ times a day, they will reach the 31-day fare cap in 14 days of riding.

Why aren’t you selling passes anymore?

This new account-based system gives much more flexibility for our riders. You aren’t required to visit the GTC to renew your bus pass anymore, and can do it from any smartphone or internet browser. You can add any value to your account, rather than having to pay for a month in advance when you buy a pass. This system also includes fare capping, which guarantees that riders always get the best value fare pricing and never overpay.

What if I don’t want to use the Connect features, or don’t have the internet or a smartphone?

If you are a regular rider, you were most likely visiting the GTC each month to renew your 30-day pass. You can continue to follow this routine if you choose, just loading the new 31-day dollar limit to your account each month – $42.00 for adult and $27.00 for discount. With the new Connect system, depending on how often you ride, you may have money left in your account at the end of the month. You can also load any value (minimum $5.00), if you do not want to put the entire month’s value on at once.

How do I get started?

Set up an account. You can do this from your computer or tablet on the Connect Portal, on your phone with the Connect App, or have a MATBUS staff member create one at the Customer Care Center in the GTC (in person or by phone). If you qualify for discount, you will need to contact MATBUS to be set up in the system. MATBUS staff will verify your status and create your account, then tell you your next steps.

Add funds to your account. These funds can be loaded on the Connect Portal, the Connect App, or at the GTC. Take care when adding money to your Connect account, as MATBUS cannot provide refunds.

Once you have an account, choose whether you would like your primary payments to be made with a card or the mobile phone app. They will both use the same account on the Connect Portal, but you will earn credit toward daily and 31-day fare limits on each one separately. You get the best value by only using one. If you qualify for discount fare, only one method per account can be coded for discount fare.

Ride the bus by using your Connect Card or activating a ticket/ride on the Connect App.

For more detailed instructions, visit Getting Started with MATBUS Connect

How do I load money to my account?

GTC Customer Care Center – Load money in person or by phone with MATBUS staff, with cash, check, card, gift certificate, or voucher. They will set up an account for you if you haven’t yet. Funds will be available on your card immediately.

Connect Portal (matbusconnect.com) – Once you have created an account, select the Add Funds button at the top of the My Account page. You can select a dollar amount from the drop-down menu or enter another value (minimum $5.00). Add the funds to your cart, then complete the purchase with a payment card. If you are using a Connect Card, funds will be available for use on the bus within 24-48 hours.

MATBUS Connect App – Once you have created an account, select the Add Funds button on the My Passes screen. Enter the dollar amount you’d like to load to your account (minimum $5.00). Add the funds to your cart, then complete the purchase with a payment card. Funds will be available for use on the bus immediately.

*** Take care when adding money to your Connect account, as MATBUS cannot provide refunds. ***

Does the balance on my account expire?

No, there is no expiration date for funds in your account.

Do I need an email address to use MATBUS Connect?

Yes, you will need an email address to use as your username on the Connect Portal or the Connect App. This is how you will activate your account and get receipts when you add funds.

Can I use both the Connect Card and the Connect App?

We recommend that you use either the card OR the mobile app, but not both. Fare capping (the feature that limits your daily and monthly payments) works best when you only use one method for all of your rides. If you use both the card and the app, you will end up paying more than you need to. It may be a good idea to have one available as a backup, though, in case one is unavailable.

If you qualify for discount fare, you should choose only one method of payment, because only one method per account can be coded for discount fare.

How will transfers work?

All transfers are valid for 90 minutes. Cash fares will continue to get paper transfer tickets. Riders paying cash must request a transfer at the time of boarding, because transfers will not be printed when you exit. Connect Cards will have transfers embedded, so any additional farebox taps will be free 90 minutes after the first farebox tap. The Connect App will prompt you to add a free transfer when you activate a ticket, and that transfer will show the time it expires.

Do I have to apply for discount fare again to use the Connect system?

If you were already approved for discount fare (elderly, youth, disabled), you will not have to apply again. However, you will need to contact MATBUS to have your account created in the Connect system. Once your account is created and designated for discount fare, you can add funds and use mobile tickets as usual.

The farebox is telling me to show my ID. What does this mean?

If your account is designated for discount fare, the farebox will announce this request when you pay for your ride. This helps the drivers verify that you qualify for the discount. When using a card, show the driver your ID on the back. When using the app, select the User ID Card tab to the left of your Barcode screen on the ticket.

Are there any extra fees for MATBUS Connect?

The mobile app and smart card are both free, and the cost of a ride is the same across all payment types. If you lose your Connect Card, you will be charged a $5.00 replacement fee, and your account balance will be transferred to the new card.

Are there any limits to how much money I put on my account?

When loading money to your account in person, on the Connect Portal, or in the Connect App, the minimum is $5.00 and the maximum is $500.00. Take care when adding money to your Connect account, as MATBUS cannot provide refunds.


Connect Portal

What is the Connect Portal?

This is a website that helps you manage your Connect account. Through the Portal, you can view your account balance and add funds from anywhere with an internet connection. You can also register your Connect Card on the Portal, which protects your balance if your card is lost or stolen.

How do I load money to my account?

Once you have created an account, select the Add Funds button at the top of the My Account page. You can select a dollar amount from the drop-down menu or enter another value (minimum $5.00). Add the funds to your cart, then complete the purchase with a payment card. If you are using a Connect Card, funds will be available for use on the bus within 24-48 hours. Funds will be available for use in the Connect App immediately.

Take care when adding money to your Connect account, as MATBUS cannot provide refunds.

How soon will funds be available to use on the bus, if I load them to my card on the Portal?

Please allow 24-48 hours for new funds to be available for use on the bus, when using a Connect Card. You can use the same funds on the Connect App immediately, if you choose.

Can I use the Portal account to load a card for my family member?

Yes, you can register multiple cards on your Connect Portal, and give each one a different nickname for a different family member. Each card will track fare capping separately, so one person’s card use will not affect the others. Each card will deduct from the same account balance when used on the bus. If you have more than one fare type on your account, you will need to get the discount card in person at the GTC. They will add the discount-coded card to your account, then you can give it a nickname on the portal. Example: A parent with adult fare adding a discount youth card for their child.

What devices can I use to access the Portal?

The Connect Portal can be accessed on any computer, mobile device or tablet through a web browser.

If I order a card through the Portal, how long will it take to get it?

You can select for the card to be picked up at the GTC, or shipped to your address for free. Please allow 4-5 business days to receive the card in the mail.


Connect Card

How is the Connect Card different from the card I have now?

Your current card can only have money loaded in person at the GTC. The Connect Card is linked to your customer account, and you can use the Connect Portal to check your account, add funds, and look at your rider activity and order history at any time.

Do I need to register my Connect Card on the Connect Portal?

If you register your card, you can check your account, add funds, and look at your rider activity and order history at any time. If your card is lost or stolen, the remaining funds can be added to a new card registered in your name.

How long will my Connect Card last? Does it expire?

The card does not expire.

What should I do if I lose my Connect Card?

You can report it over the phone or in person at the GTC. Then the card will be deactivated and the balance can be transferred to your new card. There is a $5.00 fee for replacement cards.

Any fare capping accrual from the lost card will not transfer over to a new card.

I’m a reduced fare rider (elderly, disabled, youth). Do I get a different version of the Connect Card?

Your card will look the same on the front, but will have your name and photo on the back. Reduced fare riders should contact MATBUS staff before creating any accounts on the Connect Portal or the Connect App. MATBUS staff will need to set up the account and designate it for discount fare.

How do I reload my Connect Card?

GTC Customer Care Center – Load money in person or by phone with MATBUS staff, with cash, check, card, gift certificate, or voucher. They will set up an account for you if you haven’t yet. Funds will be available on your card immediately.

Connect Portal (matbusconnect.com) – Once you have created an account, select the Add Funds button at the top of the My Account page. You can select a dollar amount from the drop-down menu or enter another value (minimum $5.00). Add the funds to your cart, then complete the purchase with a payment card. Funds will be available for use on the bus within 24-48 hours.

Take care when adding money to your Connect account, as MATBUS cannot provide refunds.

How do I check the balance on my Connect Card?

The quickest option is to register your card on the Connect Portal. Then you can view or add funds at any time. MATBUS staff can also look up the balance over the phone or in person at the GTC.

Can I put my usual 30-day pass on the Connect Card?

No, we will not be selling 30-day passes the way we used to. Instead, MATBUS Connect is account based, which means you can load your card or app with any amount you choose, rather than paying for a monthly pass upfront. Your fare is deducted from your account each time you ride, with daily and monthly payment limits (fare capping).

Can I keep using my current card (MATPASS) as long as I want?

No, we will not re-load MATPASS cards after they expire. The next time you want to load money to your card, a staff member at the Customer Care Center will assist you in setting up the new Connect Card.

Can I use the same card to pay for myself and someone else on the bus?

Yes. If you are paying with a card, you will first tap it on the farebox for yourself. Then, tell the driver you want to pay for a guest, and tap your card again. The driver will select the fare type of the guest, then you will tap your card again to accept the second fare. Only the first fare will build toward your fare capping limits. The second fare will be deducted from your account at the base rate no matter where you are in your fare capping accruals.

If you need to make transfers, you will need to request a paper transfer ticket for your guest. The cardholder's transfer is embedded in the card, so there is no paper transfer necessary, but the guest will need to use the transfer ticket on the next bus.


Connect Mobile App

Is the MATBUS Connect App different from my current MATBUS app?

Yes, you can use the new Connect app to both load money to your account and pay for your ride on the bus. It also includes all the features available on the current MATBUS app, such as live bus tracking and detours.

Is the old MATBUS app going away?

After a transition period, the old MATBUS app will be removed from the Google Play and Apple Stores. The old app will still work, but will eventually be out of date, since MATBUS won’t support it any more.

How do I download the Connect App?

The app is available on the App Store (for Apple devices) and the Google Play Store (for Android devices). Search for MATBUS Connect in one of these locations to get the app. Then, you can download the app for free.

Can I use the Connect App if I’m a reduced fare rider (elderly, disabled, youth)?

Yes, but you will need to have a MATBUS staff member set up your account first, after confirming eligibility. Once your account is created, you can download the app, add funds, and use mobile ticketing. You will just need to sign up within the app using the email address you provided to MATBUS staff.

How do I activate my mobile pass?

Visit the My Passes screen and select the Pay As You Go tab. Select the mobile ticket option. A popup will ask if you want to add a free transfer, and you should select Purchase if you will need a second route to reach your destination. A second popup will confirm the purchase amount of your ticket, list a free transfer (if added), and show your new account balance.

Once you select Yes to activate your ticket, you will see a QR code ticket with a 5-minute expiration countdown. You will only have 5 minutes to use this ticket on the bus, so MATBUS recommends that you wait to purchase/activate until the bus is in sight. This ticket can also be accessed from the My Passes screen after purchase.

When you board the bus, hold your phone facedown (with the QR code visible) to the screen on the right side of the farebox (in front of the bill acceptance slot).

How do I use a transfer on my phone?

You will need to “purchase” your free transfer when you activate your ticket. When you’re ready to use the transfer, select the Transfer ticket on the My Passes screen. The transfer expires 90 minutes after your original ticket purchase. On the Barcode screen, tap the green square to activate the transfer. This transfer will also expire in 5 minutes, so do not activate until you are ready to board your next bus.

Do I need data or wifi to use mobile ticketing?

Yes, you will need a data or wifi connection in order to activate a mobile ticket or use the other functions of the app.

What if my phone battery runs out before I can scan my mobile ticket?

It is your responsibility to have a charged and operational phone, so that you are able to display your mobile ticket. If you are unable to display your mobile ticket, you will have to use another payment method on the bus.

What happens if I get a new phone, or mine is lost or stolen?

Once you have a new phone, download the MATBUS Connect app again and sign in. Your account balance will be available on the new phone. If there is a delay, or you will not be getting a new phone, you can request a Connect Card at the GTC or through the Connect Portal.

How can I find my fare capping status on the app?

From the My Passes screen, select the Account Management button. At the bottom of that screen, under Advanced Cap, select View Details. The popup window will show how much you have accrued toward your 1-day cap and your 31-day cap. When you activate a new ticket, the confirmation popup will also tell you if you have qualified for fare capping, and will not deduct any funds from your balance.

Can I use the app to pay for myself and someone else on the bus?

Yes. If you are paying with the app, you will need to purchase two tickets under the Pay As You Go Tab. When you board the bus, you will activate and scan each ticket separately for each person. Only the first fare will build toward your fare capping limits. The second fare will be deducted from your account at the base rate no matter where you are in your fare capping accruals.

If you need to make transfers, you will need to "purchase" free transfers for each person's ticket during activation. When you board the next bus, you can activate and scan each transfer individually.

What if the farebox says "bad verify" when I scan my mobile ticket?

The farebox wasn't able to ready your mobile ticket fully. Try turning your phone 90 degrees, to give the scanner a different angle to read your mobile ticket. If your phone was placed horizontally the first time, turn it vertically, pointing toward the bill acceptance slot.