US Transit Fare Media You Can Order Online

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For some reason, I have a collection of various public transit fare media – mostly smartcards issued by US transit operators.

Take a look:

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(Mostly LA Metro TAP cards of varying designs!) How many agencies do you recognize?

As part of this, I’m interested in expanding my collection without the money and time commitment of travelling just to get a piece of plastic!

Luckily, a lot of transit operators sell their fare media online, ready to be mailed to your address. But I couldn’t find a list of operators that offer this luxury, so I’m making one.

Note that this list is just for US transit operators, not international ones. Many international operators also sell fare media online, but usually won’t ship outside of their respective country. Also, I didn’t include operators that only sell mobile “passes” to be loaded on a smartphone, since that has approximately zero collectors’ value…

(Mostly from this Wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_public_transport_smart_cards. The vendor Genfare also has many customers selling smartcards on their gfcp.io domain, so a Google search of this domain might surface more results.)

The List: Smartcards

The List: Other Fare Media

definitely not complete

Notable Omissions…

  • Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Key, Philadelphia, PA (SEPTA Key)
  • Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Boston, MA (CharlieCard) – I remember CharlieCards were extremely inconvenient to obtain when I visited Boston, requiring a visit to some customer service centers that were only available in a few stations. I’ve heard new TVMs in Boston will offer CharlieCards, though. At least they’re free..
  • Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York, NY (OMNY/MetroCard) – Technically you can order MetroCards online but they must be in the form of a LIRR pass with a MetroCard attached, or in a bulk order of 50+ cards. Not realistic for most people, and I wish the MTA would sell these online.
  • Metro, Los Angeles, CA (TAP) – It’s a shame that these aren’t available online given Metro’s extensive collection of TAP card designs. However, reduced fare cards are available online.
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