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Connect common questions

Connect fare system

Legacy paper passes will continue to work until the value on them is depleted. 

The fares at colleges will continue to work the same after October 1, 2022, until the school has made a plan to switch to the new system. After October 1, colleges will be coordinating with STA to determine the timing for switching over to the new Connect system and will make an announcement on when that switch will occur.

Employer smart card programs can transition to the new Connect card system as early as October. Current employer smart cards will continue to work until STA has worked with the employer to transition their employees to the new card system.

UTAP programs will continue to work the same. Single-use passes will be available as a Day Pass, 7-Day Pass, and 1-Ride Pass which is good for a two-hour window.

Riders can pay cash to ride the bus without using a Connect card. However, STA encourages cash users to add their money to a Connect card so that they have the opportunity to benefit from daily and monthly fare capping savings. Cash can be added to a Connect card at STA Plaza or at a participating retail location.

Customers may pay their fare with a Connect card, eConnect card, barcoded paper ticket from a ticket vending machine, limited use passes distributed through institution and group sales partners or with cash.

If you are paying your fare on the bus with cash, you must have the exact change. In the future, STA plans to accept contactless credit and debit cards as well as Apple Pay and Google Wallet.

Value can be added to a Connect card on the STA Connect account website, on the STA Connect App, at STA Plaza or at participating retail locations.

Riders can add value in these ways, with or without linking their card to a Connect account. However, STA encourages you to link your Connect card to a Connect account or register it with customer service to protect your balance in the case it is damaged, lost or stolen.

Watch a video on how to add value to your card on the account website here. 

STA does not refund fares after they have been purchased.

 

A Connect card can only be validated at the fare box once, so a rider cannot tap their card and then hand it to another person to use directly after it has been validated.

An eConnect card can only be linked to one Connect account and the STA Connect App can only be logged in on one device at a time.

Connect cards are available to purchase now at STA Plaza or online by mail through the STA Connect account website or the STA Connect App on iOS or Android.

Yes, 31 Day Passes (Adult, Youth and Reduced Fare) as well as 7-Day pass will be sold at select retail locations. A sunset date for paper passes available through participating retail outlets has not been determined.

Paper passes (with the exception of 7-day issued on a limited use paper ticket) are no longer available through Customer Service at STA Plaza.

Connect cards

Your legacy smart card will continue to work until the value or passes on it are depleted. However, you cannot load additional passes or value to your legacy smart card. Once your smart card is empty, you will need to get a Connect card to replace your smart card. 

No, Paratransit customers do not have to tap their Connect card to pay. A Connect card can be linked to the Paratransit account and will serve as a Paratransit ID.

All Paratransit customers will receive a Connect card eventually. If you do not want to wait for yours in the mail you can buy a Connect card online, at STA Plaza, or over the phone at (509) 328-RIDE (7433).

A physical Connect card and virtual eConnect card cannot be linked.

If a rider uses both a physical Connect card and an eConnect card, the two cards will have separate balances and fare capping totals. They can be managed under the same account but have different card numbers and pins.

Watch a video on how to create an eConnect card here. 

The balance on your card can be quickly and easily reviewed when the card is linked to a Connect account online or in the STA Connect App.

If a rider chooses not to link the card to an account, the balance can be checked on the website under “reload card” or in the app when using it as a guest. You can also check your balance at STA Plaza or by calling Customer Service at (509) 328-RIDE (7433), TTY 711.

If the balance is $5 or less, the farebox validator will display a “low balance” message. If the card balance is too low to pay the fare, the farebox validator will deny the card.

A physical Connect card can be linked to a Connect account by signing in, visiting “My Cards,” clicking “Add Card,” and entering the card’s number and pin.

This allows you to protect the balance on your card if it is lost, damaged or stolen.

Linking a card to a Connect account provides the following self-service functions:

  • View fare capping progress
  • Add money or passes
  • Start, pause or stop autoload
  • Lock and replace lost or stolen cards
  • Manage payment methods
  • View and export card activity, including ride history
  • View account activity and download receipts

Watch a video on how to link a physical card in the STA Connect app or on the account website. 

An eConnect card can be created in the STA Connect App on iOS or Android. Once the app is installed and you are logged in, click the plus sign in the middle of the screen, then select “Create eConnect Card.”

If you already have a physical Connect card on your account, swipe left and click “Add Card,” and select “Create eConnect Card.”

Watch a video on how to create an eConnect card here. 

If a Connect card stops working or is damaged, a replacement can be purchased for $5 at STA Plaza or online to be delivered by mail.

The Connect card balance could be recovered and added to the replacement card, if the card is linked to a Connect account, registered with Customer Service, or the customer is able to provide the 20-digit card number.

As long as a rider has logged into the app within the last seven days and the app was open before the phone lost service, it will generate a QR code even if the phone does not have a service or internet connection.

Customers can lock a card linked to their Connect account through the STA Connect website or mobile app.  Alternatively, a Connect card can be locked or unlocked by calling Customer Service at (509) 328-RIDE (7433), TTY 711.  The customer must have previously registered the card with Customer Service or be able to provide the 20-digit card number.

If a Connect card has been lost, please contact Customer Service to check if it has been returned to lost and found.

If the Connect card cannot be recovered, a replacement can be purchased for $5 at STA Plaza or online to be delivered by mail. If the Connect card was added to a Connect account, the balance could be recovered and added to the replacement Connect card.

Watch a video on how to lock and replace your card on the account website. 

Connect accounts

A physical Connect card and virtual eConnect card cannot be linked.

If a rider uses both a physical Connect card and an eConnect card, the two cards will have separate balances and fare capping totals. They can be managed under the same account but have different card numbers and pins.

Watch a video on how to create an eConnect card here. 

Yes, fare capping can be viewed on the Connect account through the STA Connect App or Connect account website.

In the app, on the home page, click “Fare Capping.” When logged in on the website, click “My Cards,” and under “Manage This Card,” click “Fare Capping.”

If a card is not linked to a Connect account, customers may call Customer Service at (509) 328-RIDE (7433), TTY 711 to request the card’s fare capping progress.

Watch a video on how to track your fare capping progress in the STA Connect app or on the account website. 

A physical Connect card can be linked to a Connect account by signing in, visiting “My Cards,” clicking “Add Card,” and entering the card’s number and pin.

This allows you to protect the balance on your card if it is lost, damaged or stolen.

Linking a card to a Connect account provides the following self-service functions:

  • View fare capping progress
  • Add money or passes
  • Start, pause or stop autoload
  • Lock and replace lost or stolen cards
  • Manage payment methods
  • View and export card activity, including ride history
  • View account activity and download receipts

Watch a video on how to link a physical card in the STA Connect app or on the account website. 

When signed in to the Connect account website, autoload can be found under “My Cards” and “Manage This Card”. Click the “Turn On Autoload” button and enter an amount of value you would like loaded to the card when it reaches a balance of $5 or less.

In the STA Connect App, “Turn On Autoload” can be found in the middle of the home screen under the “Passes” button.

Autoload can also be paused for a defined date range on the website or app.

Watch a video on how to turn on autoload in the STA Connect app or on the account website. 

STA uses rider data to in accordance to our Privacy Policy. Unless a user consents to such distribution, STA will not sell, lease, or give away personally identifiable information to other governments, organizations, or private businesses within the limits of the law.

Riders are not required to link their Connect card to a Connect account, but STA encourages riders to do this to take advantage of many self-service options, including:

  • View fare capping progress
  • Add money or passes
  • Start, pause or stop autoload
  • Lock and replace lost or stolen cards
  • Manage payment methods
  • View and export card activity
  • View account activity and download receipts

In the event that an unlinked or unregistered Connect card is lost or stolen, the balance is not protected and cannot be replaced.

Fare capping

The legacy 31 Day Pass and 7-Day pass will still be available for purchase at select retail locations. STA has not determined a sunset date when those passes will be discontinued through retail locations.

Fare capping will replace the legacy Day Pass and 31 Day Pass. When the cap for the day is reached, unlimited rides for the day cost the same as a Day Pass would have ($4 or $2 for reduced fare). When the cap for the month is reached, unlimited rides for the month cost the same as a 31 Day Pass would have ($60 or $30 for Reduced Fare).

Yes, fare capping can be viewed on the Connect account through the STA Connect App or Connect account website.

In the app, on the home page, click “Fare Capping.” When logged in on the website, click “My Cards,” and under “Manage This Card,” click “Fare Capping.”

If a card is not linked to a Connect account, customers may call Customer Service at (509) 328-RIDE (7433), TTY 711 to request the card’s fare capping progress.

Watch a video on how to track your fare capping progress in the STA Connect app or on the account website. 

Fare capping applies to one Connect card for one rider. If an account has more than one Connect card, each card has a separate balance and fare capping total.

If a rider uses both a physical Connect card and an eConnect card, the two cards will have separate balances and fare capping totals. The two types of cards cannot be linked.

Watch a video on how to track your fare capping progress in the STA Connect app or on the account website. 

No, however, STA encourages you to link your Connect card to a Connect account to protect your balance in the case it is damaged, lost or stolen.

A Connect card is required to access fare capping, but you do not have to link your card to a Connect account to get the benefit of fare capping.

 

Fare capping is only available when using a Connect card. When you purchase a pass with cash on the bus, it does not count towards your fare capping total.

STA encourages cash users to add their money to a Connect card to benefit from fare capping savings. Cash can be added to a Connect card at STA Plaza or at participating retail locations.

STA Connect App

Paratransit customers can use the STA Connect app to manage their Connect account, add payment options, and set up autoload options for their physical Connect card. They can also view their fare capping progress. However, Paratransit customers cannot use an eConnect card in the app.

A physical Connect card and virtual eConnect card cannot be linked.

If a rider uses both a physical Connect card and an eConnect card, the two cards will have separate balances and fare capping totals. They can be managed under the same account but have different card numbers and pins.

Watch a video on how to create an eConnect card here. 

The STA Connect App is available on iOS or Android phones at this time. The app is not available on tablets, watches and other devices.

An eConnect card can be created in the STA Connect App on iOS or Android. Once the app is installed and you are logged in, click the plus sign in the middle of the screen, then select “Create eConnect Card.”

If you already have a physical Connect card on your account, swipe left and click “Add Card,” and select “Create eConnect Card.”

Watch a video on how to create an eConnect card here. 

If a phone is dead, a rider will not be able to access their eConnect card. Please be mindful of your phone’s charge when planning to ride the bus.

As long as a rider has logged into the app within the last seven days and the app was open before the phone lost service, it will generate a QR code even if the phone does not have a service or internet connection.

When signing in to a Connect account on the STA Connect App, an account can only be signed in to one device at a time.

Only one eConnect card can be created per customer account.

Watch a video on how to create an eConnect card here. 

Paratransit & Connect

Yes, a Connect card can be linked to the Paratransit account and will serve as a Paratransit ID. If you purchase your Connect card at STA Plaza or order one online, make sure you call Paratransit to link your Connect card to your Paratransit account. (509) 328-1552, TTY 711.

No, Paratransit customers do not have to tap their Connect card to pay. A Connect card can be linked to the Paratransit account and will serve as a Paratransit ID.

Initially, you will not be charged for your first Connect card through April 30, 2023, and then will be charged $5 for the Connect card starting March 1, 2023.

All Paratransit customers will receive a Connect card eventually. If you do not want to wait for yours in the mail you can buy a Connect card online, at STA Plaza, or over the phone at (509) 328-RIDE (7433).

Paratransit customers can use the STA Connect app to manage their Connect account, add payment options, and set up autoload options for their physical Connect card. They can also view their fare capping progress. However, Paratransit customers cannot use an eConnect card in the app.

Help & support

For immediate assistance, contact Customer Service at (509) 328-RIDE (7433), TTY 711.

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