What is Flamingo Fares?
Flamingo Fares Tampa Bay brings a new payment system to the region, simplifying transit use. It allows a rider to pay using a re-loadable smartcard or smartphone app, which can be used across participating transit agencies. Counties currently participating in Flamingo Fares: Hernando (TheBus), Hillsborough (HART/TECO Line Streetcar System), Pasco (PCPT), Pinellas (PSTA/Jolley Trolley), and Sarasota (SCAT).
What’s this “testing” phase?
Partner agencies are selecting riders to help us test the system. These riders are being selected by our technology contractor and will be required to provide feedback about their experience.
When will Flamingo Fares be available for everyone else?
We are planning to launch the full program to all riders in 2019.
Can I share my card or app?
No. Since Flamingo Fares is account-based, each rider must have their own card or app.
How do I get my discounted transit fare?
If you qualify for a Discount Card (as a senior, student, disabled person, veteran, paratransit customer, or Medicare recipient, depending on transit agency policy) please visit your local Transit Center for a new Flamingo Fares card printed with your name and Photo ID. Please visit your transit agency ’s website for more information about discounted fare programs/eligibility requirements.
How do I earn a Pass? (Fare Capping)
Instead of buying passes in advance, you earn them as you go. Simply load value on your Flamingo Fares card or app and pay as you board the bus or trolley. Board twice in one day with your Flamingo Fares card or phone app, and you’ll earn a day pass (the amount you pay is “capped,” so you ride free the rest of the day). Once you reach the cost of a monthly pass, you can ride free for the rest of the month (when you pay with Flamingo Fares). So, you get the savings of a bus pass, without the commitment or the upfront cost.
- Always get the best fare
- Savings for frequent riders
- No upfront costs
- Pay only for the trips you take
Here’s an example: George loads $10 on his Flamingo Fares. When he boards the bus in the morning, the cost of one cash fare is deducted from his account. At the transfer center, he boards another bus and the cost of one more cash fare is deducted. Later on the way home, George boards and his rides on the way home are free because his fare was “capped” at the cost of a day pass, which he reached earlier in the day.
Are the Tickets/Passes changing?
You’ll see magnetic stripe or flash passes phased out over the coming year. About six months after Flamingo Fares launches, we’ll stop selling old passes, and after a year we’ll stop accepting them on board. Don’t worry, we’ll give you lots of notice and warning!
Where can I get a Flamingo Fares card?
Cards are available for purchase at the following Transit Centers:
- Hernando (TheBus), open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. https://www.hernandocounty.us/departments/departments-n-z/transit-thebus/
- Hillsborough (HART), open weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. gohart.org/
- Pasco (PCPT), open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. https://www.pascocountyfl.net/243/Public-TransportationPCPT
- Pinellas (PSTA/Jolley Trolley), open weekdays from 7:15 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. https://www.psta.net/
- Sarasota (SCAT), open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. https://www.scgov.net/government/departments/scat-bus-service
When can I use the pass on my card?
A pass valid for a specific calendar period (i.e. one month or one year) is valid at the beginning of the month. You may also purchase a time-based pass (e.g., 31-day) and that is valid the first time it is used and will remain active for the duration of the pass. Any funds placed on the card will be available to use immediately.
Do I have to tap every time I board?
Yes — tap your card or scan your mobile App QR code on the validator every time you board a bus or trolley. You won’t necessarily be charged every time you tap, but it validates your fare and serves as your proof of payment. Unlike other transit systems, you don’t have to tap off at your destination.
Riders with daily and monthly passes are still required to tap every time they board.
If I’m with my family or a group, can I pay for more than one riders’ fare with my card?
If you purchase a family pass (available on select systems) then you can load the family pass onto your Flamingo Fares card and tap once to pay for everyone in your group. Otherwise, everyone ages six (6) and up in your group or family needs their own Flamingo Fares card. Also, you can easily manage multiple cards through one Flamingo Fares account on the Flamingo Fares website or using the Flamingo Fares App.
How much does a Flamingo Fares card cost?
There is a $3 charge for new and replacement Flamingo Fares cards.
Can I have a Flamingo Fares card mailed to me?
Sorry, cards are not available by mail, but you can go to one of many Flamingo retailers or transit agency ticket offices to purchase a card. You can also easily load fare using the new Flamingo Fares App. See “All about the Flamingo Fares App” section.
Is there a minimum load amount?
There is a $5 minimum when loading money on your Flamingo Fares card, except at some Transit Centers.
What if I get a commuter benefit card or a pre-tax transit debit card from my work? Can I use it to load money on my Flamingo Fares card?
As long as it has a Visa, Mastercard, or Discover logo on it, you can use it as a payment method when you reload using flamingofares.com, the Flamingo mobile App, Flaming Fares Customer Service at 1-833-387-7766, or at the [Names] ticket offices (where you can also buy a Flamingo Fares card). However, you can’t use a commuter benefit card or transit debit card to buy or reload a Flamingo Fares card at Flamingo retailers such as grocery stores.
What do the validator symbols mean?
Your fare was successfully deducted from your balance / you have a valid pass.
Your fare was successfully deducted from your balance, but the money on your card is running low / you have a valid pass that is about to expire.
There is not enough money on your card to pay the fare / your card does not have a valid pass/ your card has been blocked.