Purchasing & Using Fares on CTfastrak
Note: The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) announced that all public transit buses will resume fare collection across Connecticut beginning April 1, 2023.
If you are new to the CTfastrak/CTtransit system, we'll tell you everything you need to know about how to purchase and use the many different types of fare media available on the system. If you are a current CTtransit rider, you already know almost everything you need to know about how to pay your fare on CTfastrak.
Using the Go CT Card on CTfastrak buses
You can use your CTtransit tickets and passes on CTfastrak
- When you pay the fare on a CTtransit bus, ask for a 2-Hour pass (transfer), and you can ride as many times as you want for 2 hours on CTtransit or CTfastrak.
- 2-Hour Passes, All-Day Passes, 3-Day, 5-Day, 7-Day, 31-Day Passes and 10-Ride tickets, can be used interchangeably on a CTtransit or CTfastrak bus.
- CTtransit Express Bus Passes and 10-Ride tickets can be used on CTfastrak buses.
- All existing Youth, U-Passes, and Senior/Disabled tickets/passes can be used on CTfastrak and CTtransit.
- Use your 10-Ride ticket by inserting it into the farebox on the CTfastrak bus so that it can be date and/or time stamped. Ask the driver for a 2-Hour pass (transfer) when you board if you need to transfer to another bus.
You can buy tickets and passes for CTtransit and CTfastrak everywhere you do now
- You can buy your tickets and passes in the same way as you do now – 2-Hour passes (transfers) and All-Day passes can be purchased on a CTtransit or CTfastrak bus.
- All tickets and passes can be purchased on-line, or at the downtown Hartford sales office at State House Square.
- Selected tickets and passes can be purchased at the customer service desk at certain Stop and Shop stores.
Fare payment is different on CTfastrak
CTfastrak operates as a proof of payment system where you purchase your fare prior to boarding the bus.
If you're at a CTfastrak station and do not already have a valid method of fare payment
- Use a Ticket Vending Machine on the platform to purchase a 2-Hour pass or an All-Day pass. Both of these are good for use on CTtransit and CTfastrak buses.
- The Ticket Vending Machine time-stamps the 2-Hour local or express bus pass or the All-Day Pass when it is issued – which will "activate" your pass. Your pass is now valid until the time stamped on the document. Remember--buying your pass before you get on the bus makes your trip faster!
If you are using your Go Ct card
When riding CTfastrak buses from a CTfastrak station or boarded at a CTfastrak stop on the downtown Hartford loop, tap your Go CT card on the validator located at your bus stop prior to boarding the bus. Present your Go CT card to CTfastrak Fare Inspectors when asked.
If you have a 10-ride ticket
Enter through the front door of the bus and use the farebox to deduct a ride from the ticket.
If you have a 3-, 5-, 7-, or 31-day pass
It must be activated in a farebox on your initial use of that pass. If the pass has already been activated, it is good to use as proof of payment on CTfastrak until it expires.
If you are transferring from another bus
You'll need to be able to show proof of payment on the CTfastrak bus. So, make sure you ask the bus operator on the CTtransit or CTtransit Express bus for a 2-Hour pass (transfer) if you pay with cash or a 10 ride ticket. The transfer will be used as your proof of payment on CTfastrak. If you use an All-day, 3-, 5-, 7-, or 31-Pass, make sure that it has been activated so it can be used as your proof of payment.
CTfastrak buses travel on routes both on and off of the bus-only roadway.
If you are boarding a CTfastrak bus at a stop that does not have a TVM you must board the bus at the front door and use the farebox or show your valid ticket, pass, or transfer as you would on any CTtransit bus. If you board and pay cash, you will be issued a 2-Hour pass to show the Fare Inspector as proof of payment.
- All fares are subject to inspection by a Fare Inspector to prove that the fare is valid--valid means that the ticket is current and that it is being used appropriately. For example, a 31-Day Pass that has passed the expiration period is not valid. Your valid ticket, pass or transfer is your Proof of Payment.
- Fare Inspectors are authorized by State law to inspect tickets and passes to ensure that passengers have paid the required fare and to issue citations for violations of the law. If you do not provide proof of payment to the Fare Inspector, you are subject to a citation and fine and will be required to show valid identification. The fine for failure to have a valid fare is $75.
Proof of Payment speeds boarding time
- Proof of Payment speeds up travel time because riders with a valid ticket or pass can board the bus through any door without waiting to pay a fare at the farebox. That makes boarding faster.
- It's more convenient for you, the customer. You can now purchase your single-ride ticket or All-Day Pass from a Ticket Vending Machine (TVM) with a credit or debit card.
- So... your ticket purchase is more convenient and your trip is faster!
What is a valid form of proof of payment?
When the Fare Inspector approaches you and asks to see your proof of payment, show him/her:
- The 2-Hour or All-Day Pass that you purchased from the TVM, your 10-Ride ticket that has a valid date/time stamp for this trip, a transfer with valid date/time stamp for this trip, a UPass, an All-Day, 3-Day, 5-Day, 7-Day or 31-Day Pass, that has been activated and has not expired.
- An express bus 10-Ride ticket or 31-Day pass for the appropriate zone that has been activated and is not expired.
- CTfastrak buses travel on routes both on and off of the bus-only roadway. If you are boarding a CTfastrak bus at a stop that does not have TVM, you must board the bus at the front door and use the farebox or show your valid ticket, pass, or transfer as you would on any CTtransit bus. If you board and pay cash, you will be issued a 2-Hour pass to show the Fare Inspector as proof of payment.
- Fare Inspectors will make inspections on CTfastrak station platforms and CTfastrak buses. Remember to keep your ticket handy as you may be asked to show your ticket more than once during your trip. If you are riding at a reduced fare (Youth, Senior/Disabled, U-Pass) you will be required to present proper ID as well as your proof of payment.
Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs) allow riders to pay their fare before they board
The TVMs function as a farebox at CTfastrak stations.
- Every CTfastrak station has at least two ticket vending machines (TVMs) conveniently located for easy access. In addition, there are TVMs in downtown Hartford at the following locations:
- Main Street at Travelers
- Asylum Street at Trumbull Street
- Asylum Street at High Street (near Union Station)
- You can purchase the following ticket types from the TVMs:
- Youth, Senior/Disabled or Adult 2-Hour pass
- All-Day Pass for CTfastrak local services
- Senior/Disabled or Adult 2-Hour pass for CTtransit Express via CTfastrak routes
- You may use US coins (including pennies), US bills (up to denominations of $20), credit card or debit card to make your purchase. Tokens are no longer accepted anywhere in the CTtransit system.
- Combinations of fare payment methods, such as cash and credit card, are not permitted. For example, if you are purchasing an All-Day Pass for $3.50 and you have only $2.00 in cash, you cannot charge the remaining $1.50 to your credit or debit card.
- If you are traveling with a group, you can purchase multiple tickets of the same type in one transaction. This is why the TVM accepts larger denomination bills.
- Like the farebox on board on a bus, TVMs do not make change. Be aware of what you are inserting in the TVM as the TVM will accept any US bills (up to $20 denomination) as payment. For example, if you insert a $10 bill for a $1.75 fare, the TVM cannot return $8.25 in change. There will be a warning on the TVM to remind you about this, and a requirement that you acknowledge the warning before you proceed.
- If you use coins to purchase your ticket and cancel the transaction before the ticket is vended, all the coins inserted in the TVM will be returned. If you are using bills to purchase the ticket and you cancel the transaction before the ticket is vended, only the last bill inserted into the TVM can be returned. For example, if you insert two $1.00 bills to purchase a $1.75 ticket and then decide to cancel the transaction, only the last bill inserted will be returned.
- The TVM time-stamps your 2-Hour or All-Day Pass when it is vended--which will "activate" your pass. Your pass is now valid until the time stamped on the document.
- If you are approached by a Fare Inspector requesting Proof of Payment, your TVM issued pass is valid Proof of Payment. Hold onto your Proof of Payment while you ride, or if you need to transfer to another bus. If you transfer to another CTfastrak route, hold onto the Proof of Payment in case you asked for it by a fare inspector. If you transfer to a CTtransit bus, show your Proof of Payment to the bus driver.
For all the reasons we mentioned before, you should purchase your ticket off the bus
However, you will still be able to purchase a ticket or transfer onboard the bus and you will still get a paper ticket or transfer. Hold onto the ticket or transfer while you ride because it is your proof of payment. If you transfer to another CTfastrak route, hold onto the proof of payment in case you're asked for it by a Fare Inspector. If you transfer to a CTtransit bus, insert the transfer in the farebox.