SamTrans buses use state-of-the-art fareboxes. The farebox accepts dollar bills, coins, tokens and magnetic-stripe tickets. Magnetic-stripe tickets are similar in size to a credit card. One side of the magnetic ticket has a stripe that contains the encoded ticket information that is read by the farebox. Magnetic-stripe tickets are either "dipped" or "swiped" in the farebox depending on the ticket type.

Dollar bills and coins should be inserted one-at-a time. The dollar bills should be flat and unfolded. Deposit exact fare. No change cards or refund are issued for overpayment.  

Eligible Discount, Youth and Adult tickets are "dipped" into the farebox, while Youth Unlimited yearly passes and Summer Youth Passes are "swiped".

Customers may purchase Day passes onboard the bus directly from the farebox.  When doing so, please tell the bus operator first before paying your fare.

Farebox Top Tips

  • Have your fare ready before boarding
  • Use flat bills and insert only one bill at a time
  • Drop coins one at a time to prevent jamming (coin acceptor is on the right-hand side)

Farebox Questions & Answers

  1. What type of payment does the new farebox accept?
    The farebox will accept dollar bills, coins, tokens and magnetic-stripe tickets requiring a dip or a swipe.
  2. Where do I insert my fare?
    The coin drop is on the right side of the farebox, near the front, and the bill feeder is just above it.

    When inserting dollar bills, use flat, unfolded bills. The farebox accepts $1, $2, $5, $10 and $20 bills. No foreign currency is accepted. The farebox will not accept taped, counterfeit or torn bills.

    Coins and tokens must be inserted one at a time. All U.S. coins are accepted, including pennies and newer $1 coins.

    Do not force bills or tickets into the farebox; allow the farebox to pull them in. Make sure they are accepted before going to your seat.

  3. What is a magnetic-stripe ticket?
    A magnetic-stripe ticket has a stripe that contains the ticket information. Magnetic tickets need to be "dipped" into the reader on the top left of the farebox or "swiped" through the channel on the top right, depending on the ticket type.
  4. How do I know whether to dip or swipe?
    Magnetic tickets will need to be "dipped" into the reader on the top left of the farebox or "swiped" through the channel on the top right, depending on the ticket type.

    Eligible Discount, Youth and Adult tickets

    Day Pass
    Youth Unlimited Pass
    Summer Youth Pass

  5. How do I take care of my magnetic ticket?
    Magnetic tickets should be kept clean, dry and away from magnets. Also, avoid exposing the ticket to extreme heat because it may demagnetize the ticket. Folded, scratched, torn, cut, written-on or laminated tickets interfere with or prevent the farebox from reading the magnetic stripe.
  6. How do I know if my ticket worked?
    If the ticket is rejected, the farebox will provide an audio and visual alert. If the ticket doesn't work, another form of valid fare payment will be required.
  7. How do I swipe a ticket?
    Hold the ticket so the magnetic stripe is facing you and gently swipe it through the reader keeping the cut corner up and on the left. As you swipe, keep the card flat and do not bend it.
  8. How do I dip my ticket?
    These tickets are "dipped" into the slot on the top left of the farebox with the picture side of the ticket facing you. When inserting the ticket, look for the directional arrow indicating the side to insert into the farebox. The value/ride is deducted and the farebox prints the deduction/balance and then pops the ticket out for retrieval.
  9. How do I purchase a Day Pass?
    Day passes are available for purchase on the bus with cash. Tokens/Single-ride Tickets cannot be used to purchase a Day Pass. If you are purchasing a Day Pass, you must tell the bus operator before inserting money.
  10. What route is the Day Pass accepted on?
    The Day Pass is valid on all fixed-route buses and carries a local-ride value. The ride value may be applied to any route with a higher ride value by paying the difference in cash, tokens or Eligible Discount, Youth & Adult local-ride value tickets.
  11. Does the farebox accept the Clipper Card?
    No. The Clipper Card must be tapped at the Clipper card validator located to the right of the farebox.