Milwaukee County Transit System
Press Release

MCTS Announces Timeline for Transition Away from Paper Tickets, Passes and Transfers

The move away from paper will make bus boarding more efficient and cut down on the use of paper, which is costly and less environmentally friendl

By - Jan 8th, 2016 08:59 am
MCTS will phase out paper tickets, passes and transfers on Leap Day, February 29, 2016.

MCTS will phase out paper tickets, passes and transfers on Leap Day, February 29, 2016.

MILWAUKEE – MCTS is leaping into a new era in 2016. After years of hard work upgrading technology on buses and online and working with passengers on adopting the M•CARD, MCTS will phase out paper tickets, passes and transfers on Leap Day, February 29, 2016.

The move away from paper will make bus boarding more efficient and cut down on the use of paper, which is costly and less environmentally friendly.

Riders have been steadily adjusting to the expected change. According to a recent customer survey, less than 18% of MCTS riders use paper tickets and passes.

MCTS Leap Day Transition FAQs

Q: What happens if I pay with cash? Will I still receive a paper transfer?
A: Great question; the answer is no. As of Leap Day (February 29, 2016) MCTS will no longer issue paper transfers.

Q:  If I pay with cash how do I get a transfer?
A:  Riders will need to have an M•CARD to get a transfer. Even if the card does not have any Stored Cash Value or passes loaded on it, the rider can still get a 90-minute transfer after paying with cash.

Q: Will M•CARDs be sold or given away on the bus?
A: No, but you can get an M•CARD at one of the nearly 100 fare outlet locations across Milwaukee County or just visit M•CARD Online and have a card mailed to your home.

Q: Is the cash fare changing as part of this?
A: Not one penny. The cash fare is still $2.25, or use your M•CARD to pay and it’s only $1.75.

Q: What about paper tickets, can I still use them if I buy them before Leap Day?
A: Yes, paper tickets will be accepted until the end of 2016. Please note: Much like paying with cash, you will need an M•CARD to get a transfer when using a paper ticket to board.

Q: I have a lot of paper tickets but really want to move to the M•CARD, what can I do?
A: Great question. Riders can turn in sheets of 10 tickets at the MCTS Administration Building (1942 N 17th Street, Milwaukee) and receive the value of the tickets on an M•CARD. For a limited time, MCTS will waive the $2 fee for the M•CARD for anyone who brings in sheets of 10 tickets.

Q: What exactly is the M•CARD, and how does it work?
A: The MCTS M•CARD is our reusable electronic smart card that saves riders money and time. You can load the card with passes or Stored Cash Value and never have to worry about fumbling around for exact change or a paper ticket again! Even better, when you register your card at M•CARD Online, the card is protected. So if you ever lose the card, MCTS can transfer whatever value you had onto a new M•CARD. You can’t do that with paper passes!

We have lots more information on our website about the M•CARD, check it out here.

Q: Where can I get an M•CARD?
A: Riders can get an M•CARD at one of the nearly 100 fare outlet locations across Milwaukee County or just visit M•CARD Online and have a card mailed to your home.

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