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Radioguy

Metrocard: Paying Express Bus Fare (Multiple cards or card + change?)

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I haven't taken an express bus since before the hike, and on the handful of occasions since that I considered taking one without a sizable amount on my card, I've passed due to not knowing the answer to this question:

 

"If you have a metrocard running low with an even amount like $4, can it be used at all? I mean...in tandem with another card or change?"

 

I wondered about the possible outcomes if I just dipped it:

 

 

  1. Would it not deduct anything, and say "Insufficient fare"?
  2. Would it deduct everything, and then say "Insufficient fare"? (Biggest fear)
  3. Would it deduct everything, and then say "Add additional fare"?
  4. Would it deduct everything, and then say "Add additional fare" and then the required amount?

 

 

If it's #3, then the problem is if I don't know the exact card value beforehand and I dip it, and it's not enough, I wouldn't know how much to add. I don't even know if it would allow the additional fare to be paid off a second card, or just change alone. Does the driver see the amount deducted from the card on his side?

 

One last thing....does a transfer count anything (partial value) towards an express bus taken after a regular route bus or subway? If not (which I assume) is it consumed by the express bus ride anyhow (not fair), or preserved for the next regular ride? (probably pushing my luck there, but it's only fair)

 

Thanks for any info. :D

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Transfers from local routes to express routes deduct 3 dollars from the card. If you transfer from an express route to local route, or even to another express route (I've transferred from the BM5 to the BM1 this way), it deducts nothing more. I'm not sure about your choices.

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Thanks. :)

 

I don't ever remember seeing that listed on that farebox sticker with all the other fare info. That really ought to be there.

 

Can anyone answer the rest? Maybe a operator?

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Thanks! I bookmarked that, although it doesn't answer all my questions.

 

For instance:

3. From $2 base fare to $5 express bus, $3 wil be deduct with 1 TRANSFER+$3 DEDUCTED to equal $5 express bus.

 

So, just to be clear....the transfer from a regular route/subway counts as $2 off? What happens if you have less than $3 left? Can you use coins to make up the difference?

 

Also, while I doubt this (since an express bus metrocard still exists), if you have a standard unlimited ride card, is it usuable in any way towards an express ride? (With additional payment, of course)

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$5 Express Buses (MTA Bus, NYCT, Bee-Line BxM4C and Atlantic Express X23/X24) only accepted $41 7-Day Express Bus Plus. However 7-Day Express Bus Plus is not accepted on Long Island Bus since Long Island bus does not have $5 express bus.

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So, it would say invalid card or something similar on a city express bus?

If you use 1-Day Pass $7.50, 7-Day $25, 30-Day $81 pass, yes it says, "INVALID."

 

I remember one time I guided my Japanese elderly tourists friend via Airtrain JFK, then (A) to Rockaway Blvd.

When we got on QM15, one passenger tries to get to Manhattan, but when she swipe her Unlimited MetroCard was INVALID because her Unlimited Pass not for express bus.

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Thanks. That's good to know. (+ the standard transfer counting for $2)

 

Anyone know the answer to the original question?

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You can indeed use your MetroCard even if it has less than the required fare on it.

 

Say you're getting ready to ride the express bus, but your card only has $3.75 on it. What will happen is that you will dip your card, it will come back with a low sounding beep on it and it will say:

$3.75 PAID...$1.25 MORE

 

Then you can simply pay the $1.25 in change to fully pay the fare. Make sure you've got the $1.25 to continue because once you dip your card, you're out the $3.75 and there are no refunds. The same premise applies with local buses too. One drawback with the combination MC/Cash fare payment: you'll lose the MetroCard transfer

 

Another scenario: you have $4 on your MetroCard and want to do a local to express transfer. You pay the $2 on the local bus, then on boarding the express bus it will accept the local transfer for $2 off, it will deduct the remaining $2 from the card, then you'll have to pay $1 additional in coins.

 

In this case, you'll keep your MC transfer because you had the proper fare on the card when you first boarded the local bus.

 

If you were doing say a local to local bus ride, and you only had $1.50 on your card, then you would dip your MC, it will say that you owe 50¢, you pay the 50¢, then you'll have to ask for a paper transfer to complete your trip. Note in this case you won't be able to do a bus to subway transfer even though you used a MC to partially pay your fare. You have to be able to completely pay the full fare on the MC in order to receive an MC transfer.

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THANK YOU! I might actually print this thread. :D

 

Then you can simply pay the $1.25 in change to fully pay the fare. Make sure you've got the $1.25 to continue because once you dip your card, you're out the $3.75 and there are no refunds. The same premise applies with local buses too. One drawback with the combination MC/Cash fare payment: you'll lose the MetroCard transfer.

 

I'm glad to know it will say that you paid, and how much, but must it be cash? Is it possible to dip a second PPR card to add the difference? (This could easily happen if you have more than one card without knowing the balances, or if you have a passenger or friend offer their card to help)

 

It doesn't seem very fair to lose the transfer by mixing card and cash. I wonder why that is. I guess you can always ask for a paper transfer at least for a connecting local bus, but why lose a subway ride? :confused:

 

Another scenario: you have $4 on your MetroCard and want to do a local to express transfer. You pay the $2 on the local bus, then on boarding the express bus it will accept the local transfer for $2 off, it will deduct the remaining $2 from the card, then you'll have to pay $1 additional in coins.

 

In this case, you'll keep your MC transfer because you had the proper fare on the card when you first boarded the local bus.

 

Excellent. I wonder if there are college courses for this stuff. It seems overly complicated. ;)

 

If you were doing say a local to local bus ride, and you only had $1.50 on your card, then you would dip your MC, it will say that you owe 50¢, you pay the 50¢, then you'll have to ask for a paper transfer to complete your trip. Note in this case you won't be able to do a bus to subway transfer even though you used a MC to partially pay your fare. You have to be able to completely pay the full fare on the MC in order to receive an MC transfer.

 

Good to know. That also seems unfair, though. Is there a specific reason why this is?

 

Anyway, thanks for answering what you did. I'm going to try and memorize it all. ;)

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Now you know why most times, it's just best to go out with the pre-determined amount on your metrocard if you can help it (like when I do an express bus trip where I take 2 or more in one day). If not, it's good to know what was posted here definitely.

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True.

 

Now with a $7.50 fare possibly coming, even more so. Honestly, if that happens, I don't see anyone but tourists using them. ;)

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