Frequently Asked
Find answers and general information in our FAQ section. LEARN MORE


What options will be available for paying fares?

Fares can be paid with the Metro Bus Smart Ride Card, Metro Bus Smart Ride App, Metro Bus Smart Ride Tickets or cash (exact fare recommended, no change available).

Will the new fareboxes accept all forms of cash?

Everything except half-dollar coins will be accepted by the farebox.

Will the new fareboxes accept Metro Bus tokens?

No, tokens will no longer be accepted.

Can the new fareboxes issue change?

No, fareboxes are unable to issue change. Exact fare is encouraged.

Am I able to pay for more than one fare?

Yes, with Stored Ride Passes and Stored Value you are able to pay for multiple fares at one time. Example: a parent can pay for themselves and their child(ren) using a Smart Ride Card. However, this will not work if they only have a 31-Day Pass.

What is Stored Value?

Stored Value is money added to a Smart Ride Card to pay fares for any Metro Bus service. Each use will deduct from the total value.

Will we still be able to get transfers?

Yes, the Metro Bus Smart Ride Card automatically codes one, and only one, transfer per trip. We encourage passengers to get a separate Smart Ride Card for each family/group member. Transfers are not available for other methods of payment such as cash or the Metro Bus Smart Ride App. Customers with 31-Day, 7-Day or 1-Day Passes never need to pay for transfers.

If I pay fares for multiple passengers at once, do we all get transfers?

No, the Smart Ride Card only accepts one transfer at a time.
We encourage passengers to get a separate Smart Ride Card for each family/group member. Customers with 31-Day Passes, 7-Day Passes or 1-Day Passes never need to pay for transfers.

Will I need separate cards for each service, or can we put multiple fare products on one card?

The Smart Ride Cards allow up to four fare products on them.

Is the Metro Bus Smart Ride Card free?

The Metro Bus Smart Ride Card costs $3 but it is free with unused fare to exchange during the promotional period of September 19-October 16, 2021. Learn more about the promotional period:

Do I need a Metro Bus Smart Ride Card?

No, other options will be available but the Metro Bus Smart Ride Card is the most versatile option.

Will reduced fares be paid in cash form?

You can pay Reduced Fares with Stored Value on the Smart Ride Card as well as cash. Please inform the Operator, before tapping your card or inserting cash, that you will be using a Reduced Fare rate.

What if I do not have a Metro Bus Smart Ride Card?

Metro Bus Smart Ride Cards will be available at the Metro Bus Transit Center, online at, or at select partner outlets and radio stations. You can also pay your fare using the Metro Bus Smart Ride App, cash or a Metro Bus Smart Ride Ticket.

Do I need an account to use the Metro Bus Smart Ride Card or mobile ticketing?

You do not need to create an account to use the Metro Bus Smart Ride Card but it is recommended that you create a free account for security reasons. Using mobile ticketing on the Metro Bus Smart Ride App does require creating an account.

What happens if I lose my Metro Bus Smart Ride Card?

Metro Bus is not responsible for lost or stolen cards. You will have to pay $3 for a new card. If your Metro Bus Smart Ride Card was registered, passes and value can be transferred to a new card.

How do I register my Metro Bus Smart Ride Card?

Smart Ride Cards can be registered online at First create an online account, select “Register and Existing Card” from the My Cards menu and enter the 10-digit card number and CVV number as they appear on the back of your card.

How do you use contactless fare with a Smart Ride pass?

Standard, contactless payments will be accepted at the farebox. If you have a Metro Bus Smart Ride Card with Stored Value or Stored Rides, simply tap your card on the target reader at the top of the farebox. If you have a mobile ticket activated and open, scan it face down on the target scanner. Your ride or funds will be automatically deducted from the value on your card or mobile ticket when used.

Can I use my Metro Bus Smart Ride Card or the Metro Bus Smart Ride App on Northstar Link, ConneX or Dial-a-Ride?

Yes! The Metro Bus Smart Ride Card and Metro Bus Smart Ride App are usable on all services.

Is there a fee to download the Metro Bus Smart Ride App?

No, it is a free app. The Metro Bus Smart Ride App is available on the App Store for iPhone users and Google Play for Android users by searching for “Smart Ride.”

What will the Metro Bus Smart Ride App be able to do?

The Metro Bus Smart Ride App will have mobile ticketing options, real-time bus information for Fixed Routes and a Trip Planner tool.

Where can I learn more about the new fareboxes, Smart Ride Cards and the Metro Bus Smart Ride App?

Visit for the most up-to-date information. View our video for step-by-step instructions on how to use the new farebox or visit the Mobility Training Center to learn hands-on and in-person or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for new developments. Look for the Board Smarter brochure on buses and at Metro Bus locations.

How do I read the bus schedule?

To read the bus schedule, first, identify where your stop is in relation to the published timepoints on your route. If your stop is between timepoints, use the given time for the timepoint before your stop for your bus stop’s time.

The schedule is in a table format with timepoints listed in the column headers. To determine the time the bus will be at your stop, read the times listed under your time point. Read the schedule left to right to follow the route.

Additional help in reading the schedule is available from your friendly driver or the customer service staff at the Metro Bus Transit Center. If you need even more help, call the Metro Bus Mobility Training Center to make an appointment for free Travel Training, 320.529.4497.

Where can I get a map of the various routes?

Metro Bus System Maps are available at the Metro Bus Transit Center. The maps show an overall view of the entire route system in one convenient area route map. There is a small fee to purchase one of the system maps. Click here to view our online interactive system map.

Where can I get a bus schedule?

Metro Bus individual route schedules are available free of charge on our website, on all Metro Buses, at the Transit Center, major grocery stores and other outlets. Use the online Trip Planner to view schedule information or download a PDF of a specific route.

How do I catch my bus?

Wait for the bus at a designated bus stop. Most routes have signed bus stops every 2 to 3 blocks in urban neighborhoods and 4 to 6 blocks along less dense corridors. When waiting at a bus shelter, stand outside as the bus approaches so the driver can see you. Stand back from the curb until the bus comes to a complete stop. Click here for information about shelters and bus stops.

Please arrive at the bus stop 5 minutes early to avoid missing the bus.

How do I identify my bus?

As the bus approaches, check the route destination signs located on the front of the bus near the top and along the side of the bus near the front door. Always confirm your route before boarding.

How do I board my bus?

Wait until the bus has come to a complete stop and have your pass or money ready before you board the bus. Then, carefully step on board and pay fare.

Most Metro Buses are low floor design with no steps to climb to board the bus. If the first step into the bus is difficult, please ask the driver to “kneel the bus.” This will lower the front entrance of the bus.

Take a seat if one is available and remain seated while the bus is moving. While choosing your seat, please leave the seats in front for senior citizens or individuals with disabilities.

How do I transfer to another bus in order to complete my trip?

To transfer at the Transit Center: Match the “Arrive Destination” time point on your route schedule with the “Leave Downtown” time point for the transferring route.

To transfer mid-route: You can make transfers at any location where two bus routes meet. Step out of the bus and wait for the second bus. Please check schedules to ensure that you will be able to make a transfer connection to complete your trip.

You will note that it may be necessary to wait up to ½ hour for a connecting route. Transfers from Metro Bus Fixed Route are not valid on the Metro Bus Dial-a-Ride buses.

To transfer between ConneX and Fixed Routes: You may transfer between ConneX and Fixed Routes at bus stops on Routes 21, 22 and 31 in the ConneX service area.

When you need to make a transfer to complete your trip, request a transfer ticket from the driver when you board the first bus. Transfers are free and valid to use once within two hours. Insert the transfer ticket in the farebox of the route you are transferring to as your form of payment.

How do I get off the bus once I reach my destination?

About one block before the bus gets to your stop, pull the yellow cord above or between the windows once to signal the Operator that you want to get off. Please remain seated until the bus has come to a complete stop. Exit the nearest door and wait until the bus is gone before crossing the street. For your safety NEVER cross in front of the bus.

What other information do I need to know about the Metro Bus?

  • Up to three children five and under ride free with a paid fare on any Metro Bus.
  • Lost and Found items can be recovered at the Metro Bus Transit Center. Call 320.251.5411 first to make sure your item has been found.
  • Metro Bus Fixed Route and Dial-a-Ride buses do not operate on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Metro Bus service is suspended early in the evening on Christmas Eve.
  • Metro Bus Dial-a-Ride service is available seven days a week to people whose disabilities prevent them from using the Fixed Route – call 320.252.1010 for more information.

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How do you apply?

The employment application is a PDF form you can download from our website and complete electronically, or print and deliver in-person to a Metro Bus location. You can also pick up a paper copy from any of our locations, or we can email one to you. Completed applications can be submitted in person at any of our three locations or mailed to: Metro Bus, Attention: Human Resources, 665 Franklin Av NE, St. Cloud, MN 56304.
Incomplete applications and/or faxed, mailed or hand delivered resumes in place of an application will not be considered for employment.

How and when will I be notified of my application status?

Operator applicants will be contacted within 3-5 business days upon receipt of application if selected for an interview. Timeframe varies for other positions.

What type of driver’s license do you need to be a Bus Operator?

Operators must have a Class A or B Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) with passenger endorsement and no airbrake restrictions to drive buses. You can be hired and receive training for a Commercial Learner’s Permit through our CDL Permit Prep Class if you meet all other minimum qualifications and are successful in the selection process.

How do I know if I have the proper license?

On the front of your license it says what license class you have. On the back of your driver’s license where it says “Endorsements” or “END” it will list “Passenger.” Where is says “Restrictions” of “RESTR” it will list “None.” Both Class C and Class D license holders will need to take and pass the required written permit tests and obtain a Class B Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP).

How do I get a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP)?

You are required to pass the General Knowledge, Passenger and Air Brake written tests at an exam location of your choice.

I do not have a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) or a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), can I still apply?

Yes, you must be able to obtain within 90 days from first date of employment. If no permit is obtained Metro Bus has a CDL Permit Prep Training class available.

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