Tags and Smart Card
It is cheaper to use prepaid tags rather than pay cash. The different coloured Metrobus tags are similar to prepaid phone where you would load trips and use as you go.
R69.00 once-off fee for the tag is payable and the top-up amount is then recorded on the tag and deducted as bus trips are made. Different tags are available depending on the commuter's particular needs, with special rates for pensioners, scholars and people with disabilities.
- Adult commuters who use the buses daily are issued green tags. Green tags are available for: 52 trips monthly, 44 trips monthly, 14 trips weekly, 12 trips weekly and 10 trips weekly.
- School children use red tags that can be preloaded with a specific number of bus trips. The children then do not have to carry money for fares. Red tags are available in: a 130-trip term ticket, 44 trips monthly, 10 trips weekly and the stored value.
- People with disabilities use a yellow prepaid tag, which is valid for a period of six months.
- Pensioners use black tags, which are valid for a year. They receive a 50 percent discount on their bus trips.
- Infrequent users can use a stored value tag that works like a debit card. The commuter tells the driver the number of zones to be travelled and the amount is then deducted from the tag. Passengers get a 10 percent discount on their bus fares but these are not transferable. The minimum amount amount on the stored value tag is R50, and the maximum is R500.00. The stored value has no expiry date.
Smart Card/tag Validity Period
All configurations on smart cards/tags have lengthy expiry periods:
Commuters forfeit all unused trips after the expiry date and will forfeit unused trips when changing between the denominations. Trips must be utilized before the expiry date stated on your loading receipts and bus tickets.
Commuters who use the tag system and who need to transfer from one bus route to another must do so within two hours of the tag being scanned. This regulation excludes those commuters using stored value tags or pensioner and physically challenged tags. Commuters must retain their tickets of the initial journey.
To activate the tag, the number of zones to be travelled need to be loaded on to the tag. Passengers can only travel in the zones that have been loaded on the tag. The tag is not restricted to specific calendar weeks or months - it can be used at any time.
All of the tags are equipped with a 10-minute "pass-back" feature, which means that once the tag is swiped, it cannot be used again for 10 minutes. This feature is intended to prevent fraud. All of the tags also have a transfer option, which allows passengers to transfer to a second bus within two hours to complete a journey.