Get answers to our most frequently asked questions about your ConnectCard


What is a ConnectCard?
How does the ConnectCard help me?
How does the ConnectCard help Port Authority?
Why should I switch to a ConnectCard?
Where can I get a ConnectCard?
What fare options are available on a ConnectCard?
What is stored cash value?
How do I use ConnectCard to pay my fare?
How do I purchase and use a transfer with ConnectCard?
Can I use my ConnectCard to pay for a companion's ride?
Will I be charged extra if I accidentally tap my card more than once?
Where can I reload my ConnectCard?
How do I add a pass or stored cash value to my ConnectCard?
When can I add next week's or next month's pass to my card?
How much stored cash value can I put on my card?
How many fare products can my ConnectCard store at a time? 
Can I switch between different fare options on the same ConnectCard?
Is my pass or stored cash value available for use as soon as it's loaded? 
How can I confirm that a pass or cash value was added to my card?
How can you determine how much money remains on my ConnectCard?
Will the products purchased online be available immediately?
What forms of payment does the online management system accept?
How is the product loaded onto my ConnectCard?
How many transactions can be made in one day?
How many ConnectCards can I load in one day using the same credit card?
What is Balance Protection?
How do you sign up for Balance Protection?
Does Balance Protection cost anything?
Is signing up for Balance Protection mandatory?
Is online purchasing secure?
What should you do if my ConnectCard is lost or stolen?
Will I be charged for a replacement card?
Are there any special precautions that must be taken to protect a ConnectCard?
Will a ConnectCard still work if placed next to another smart card?
How do reduced-fare ConnectCards work?
Are reduced-fare cards available for children?
When and where can I get a Reduced Fare ConnectCard or a Kid's ConnectCard? 
Can I get a Reduced Fare ConnectCard if I have a temporary disability? 
How do I reload my Reduced Fare ConnectCard?
How do WageWorks participants use a ConnectCard?
What do I do if my ConnectCard has expired?
What happens when a ConnectCard doesn't work at the fare box?
What happens if I only have a ConnectCard and the farebox is out of order?
How do I report a problem with a ConnectCard machine?
What are ConnecTix?
What fare options are available on ConnecTix? ConnectCard FAQ

What is a ConnectCard?

The ConnectCard is Port Authority's smart card that provides a more convenient and secure way to pay your fare. The ConnectCard can store a variety of fare options, including passes and cash value. How does the ConnectCard help me?

How does the ConnectCard help me?

Using a ConnectCard instead of cash saves 25 cents on every ride and more if you transfer.

You can purchase and reload ConnectCards online, at select Port Authority light rail and busway stations, Port Authority's Downtown Service Center and at participating retail outlets, including most Giant Eagle and Goodwill locations throughout the region.

Balance Protection is available in case your card is ever lost or stolen.

How does the ConnectCard help Port Authority?

The ConnectCard's sophisticated technology reduces fare evasion, which costs the us thousands of dollars each year.

More reliable equipment allows us to better serve you.

The ConnectCard can be reloaded and does not have to be replaced every month, saving us thousands of dollars in printing and distribution costs.

Printing fewer passes is better for the environment.

Using a ConnectCard is faster than fumbling around for bills and change and inserting them into the fare box.

Why should I switch to a ConnectCard?

Rides are $2.50 with a ConnectCard and $2.75 with cash, so you'll start saving money right away. And if you ever need to transfer, it's just $1 with a ConnectCard versus paying the cost of another full fare with cash.

ConnectCard users are also eligible for ConnectRewards deals offered by hundreds of local businesses.

Where can I get a ConnectCard?

You can get a ConnectCard at select Port Authority light rail and busway stations, Port Authority's Downtown Service Center and at participating retail outlets, including most Giant Eagle and Goodwill locations throughout the region.

What fare options are available on ConnectCard?

Calendar-based weekly, monthly and annual passes.

Stored cash value to purchase rides and transfers

Reduced Fare ConnectCards for riders with disabilities. For more information on current Port Authority fares, visit the Fare Information page.

What is stored cash value?


Stored cash value is money loaded onto your ConnectCard to pay for transit rides. Cash value stored on your ConnectCard is deducted to pay your fare (and transfer) when you tap your card at a fare box.

How do I use a ConnectCard to pay my fare?

Simply tap your ConnectCard to the orange pad on top of the fare box. A green light and a single beep indicate that the card has been accepted.

How do I purchase and use a transfer with a ConnectCard?

To purchase a transfer with ConnectCard you must have stored cash value loaded to your ConnectCard prior to riding. Then, simply tap your card to pay for your trip. When you tap your card within three hours, the $1 transfer fee is automatically deducted from your ConnectCard. Can I use my ConnectCard to pay for a companion's ride?

Can I use my ConnectCard to pay for a companion's ride?

No. All individuals must pay their own fare separately using separate ConnectCards.

Will I be charged extra if I accidentally tap my ConnectCard more than once?

No. Our system will not deduct extra rides or stored cash value for multiple taps in a row. The first tap will deduct your fare. Any subsequent tap will cause the fare box screen to display an alert message and you will hear a triple tone, but you will not be charged again.

Where can I reload my ConnectCard?

Online at the Online ConnectCard Management system.

Port Authority's Downtown Service Center on Smithfield Street, open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (excluding holidays).

ConnectCard machines throughout our service area.

Participating retail outlets, including most Giant Eagle and Goodwill locations throughout the region.

When can I add next week's or next month's pass to my card?

Weekly passes go on sale every Thursday.

Monthly passes go on sale on the 16th of each month.

How much stored cash value can I put on my ConnectCard?

Your ConnectCard can store a maximum of $200 in stored cash value at one time. 

How many fare products can my ConnectCard hold at a time?


ConnectCards will hold a maximum of two passes (one active and one pending) plus a maximum of $200 in stored cash value.

Can I switch between different fare options on the same ConnectCard?

Yes. For example, if you initially purchase a ConnectCard loaded with a monthly pass, you can later switch to a weekly pass or stored cash value without needing to get a new card.

Is my pass or stored cash value available for use as soon as it's loaded?

If you reload your card at a ConnectCard machine or retailer, your pass or stored cash value is available for use immediately. If you use the Online ConnectCard Management system, your stored cash value may take up to 72 hours to be available.

How can I confirm that a pass or cash value was added to my card?

Your ConnectCard balance or pass product is displayed each time you tap your card on the fare box screen or at any ConnectCard machine. You can also confirm your transaction history by contacting Customer Service at 412-442-2000.

How can I determine how much money remains on my ConnectCard?

You can use online account management to check your ConnectCard balance. The remaining balance will show on the fare box screen each you tap their ConnectCard and to any ConnectCard machine.

You should not tap your card to a validator just to check your balance. Using a validator will deduct money from your card.

Will the products purchased online be available on my ConnectCard immediately?

No. Purchases made through the web may take up to 72 hours for the product to be available. Please plan accordingly.

What forms of payment does the online management system accept?

The ConnectCard Online Management system only accepts Visa, MasterCard and Discover cards.

How is the product loaded onto my ConnectCard?

Your product will be loaded onto your ConnectCard the next time that you tap it to a fare box, ConnectCard machine or ConnectCard validator.

How many transactions can be made in one day?

For security purposes, customers are permitted to make up to six transactions per day using the same credit card.

How many ConnectCards can I load in one day using the same credit card?

Up to six ConnectCards can be reloaded within a 24-hour period using the same credit card.

What is Balance Protection?

Port Authority’s Balance Protection program preserves the value on your ConnectCard in the event that it is lost or stolen. It enables us to deactivate the old card and transfer your pass and/or stored value balance to a new ConnectCard. To register for balance protection, you can either register your card by calling Port Authority Customer Service at 412-442-2000 or through Port Authority's online ConnectCard account management portal.

Does Balance Protection cost anything?

No. Balance Protection is a free service.

Is signing up for Balance Protection mandatory?

No. However, it is highly recommended since the cash value on an unregistered card cannot be replaced if it is lost or stolen. To sign up for balance protection, you will be asked to provide your name, address, phone number and mother's maiden name. Your mother's maiden name will serve as the security code to verify that the card belongs you.

Is online purchasing secure?

Port Authority is committed to protecting your personal information. The data we collect is transferred over a secure connection, is password protected and encrypted using industry-standard SSL Authentication. Our database is further protected by a firewall. Additionally, access to personal information is only permitted when you report an issue with your card and is limited to a handful of personnel who have special security clearance.

What should I do if my ConnectCard is lost or stolen?

First, contact Port Authority Customer Service at 412-442-2000 immediately. If you are signed up for balance protection, Port Authority Customer Service will deactivate your old card and authorize a new card with your pass and/or stored cash value balance on it. You must visit the Downtown Service Center on Smithfield Street to receive your replacement card. Please bring a form of photo identification.

If you did not sign up for balance protection, the cash value and/or pass on your card cannot be recovered.

Will I be charged for a replacement card?

Yes. Port Authority charges $1 for new and replacement cards.

Are there any special precautions that must be taken to protect a ConnectCard?

ConnectCards have components that can become damaged. Keep your card in a safe place, such as a wallet, to help ensure that it doesn't become scratched or cracked. Also, be careful not to wash it when doing laundry. Do not punch a hole in your card to put it on a lanyard or keychain.

Will a ConnectCard still work if placed next to another smart card?

Keeping smart cards next to each other will not damage the ConnectCard. However, ConnectCard readers and fare boxes may not be able to read your card when it's placed next to another smart card. If this happens, simply separate the ConnectCard from other cards and tap it again to the reader.

How do Reduced Fare ConnectCards work?

The Reduced Fare ConnectCard works the same way as a regular ConnectCard, but provides products at half price to those who qualify. All reduced-fare ConnectCards are automatically registered for balance protection, and in the event your card is ever lost or stolen, simply notify Port Authority Customer Service and we will transfer your trips and/or stored cash value to a new card at no cost to you. 

Are reduced-fare cards available for children?


Yes. The Kid's ConnectCard for children ages 6-11 provides products at half price. Parents or guardians must fill out an application and provide proof of birth, like a birth certificate or Baptismal certificate. The Kid's ConnectCard expires when the child reaches age 12. You may apply for a Kid's ConnectCard online. When applying online, the Kid's ConnectCard takes approximately 10-15 business days to be mailed to your address.

When and where can I get a Reduced Fare ConnectCard or a Kid's ConnectCard?



New applicants can download an application for a Reduced Fare ConnectCard or a Kid's ConnectCard. You can also visit Port Authority's Service Center to apply in person. The Service Center is located at 623 Smithfield Street in downtown Pittsburgh and is open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Can I get a reduced-fare ConnectCard if I have a temporary disability?




Yes. If you have a temporary disability you will receive a reduced-fare ConnectCard printed with an expiration date. Please visit Port Authority's Downtown Service Center at 623 Smithfield Street to apply. 

How do I reload my Reduced Fare ConnectCard?


Once you receive your reduced-fare ConnectCard, you can load stored cash value and passes onto the card online or at a number of locations, including Port Authority's Downtown Service Center, ConnectCard machines, and select retailers including most Giant Eagle and Goodwill locations throughout the region. 

How do WageWorks participants use a ConnectCard?

WageWorks participants who receive a Visa or MasterCard-branded transit benefit card may use that card to purchase passes or stored value for ConnectCard. The Downtown Service Center and ConnectCard machines accept these cards as payment.

Our ConnectCard machines only accept one form of payment per transaction, so if you do not have enough on your card to cover your purchase, the machine may reject your transaction. If you need to use another form of payment in addition to your WageWorks card, please visit our Downtown Service Center to complete your transaction.
WageWorks participants who receive a voucher to purchase transit benefits must take their voucher to the Downtown Service Center. WageWorks benefit cards and vouchers are not accepted at Giant Eagle, Goodwill or other retailers. 

What do I do if my ConnectCard has expired?

ConnectCards are programmed to expire after two years of inactivity. Any transaction or use on a vehicle starts a new two-year period. If your card has expired, you should take the card to Port Authority's Service Center to receive a replacement. Any value on your card will be transferred to the new card. If you're not sure of your ConnectCard's expiration date, this is visible during a fare box transaction or by tapping your card at a ConnectCard machine.

What happens when a ConnectCard doesn't work at the fare box?

If the message on the farebox reads "Insufficient Funds," please reload your card.

If the message reads "Card Not Readable," tap the ConnectCard again, but this time hold it against the card reader until a beep and acceptance message is received.

If the message reads "Already Valid: Double Tapped," it's possible that your card was accidentally read twice by the fare box. When tapping your ConnectCard, touch it briefly to the orange target until you hear a beep, then remove your card.

If the message reads "Card Not Valid," contact Port Authority Customer Service at 412-442-2000 with the card's serial number so they can research the problem. Please record the date, time and vehicle number to help us resolve the issue.

Port Authority fare boxes do not allow for multiple riders to use the same card.

What happens if I only have a ConnectCard and the fare box is out of order?

In the event that a fare box isn't working properly, riders with a ConnectCard will not be asked to pay.

How do I report a problem with a ConnectCard machine?

If you've experienced a problem with a ConnectCard machine, please call Port Authority Customer Service at 412-442-2000. Be sure to have basic information handy like the nature of your problem, location of the machine and the time and date. Additionally, each ConnectCard machine has an ID number located above the orange card target. Please make note of this number when you report the problem to Customer Service.

What are ConnecTix?

ConnecTix are limited-use paper tickets that can only be purchased at ConnectCard machines. ConnecTix are designed for visitors and occasional riders, and can be tapped to the fare box just like a regular ConnectCard.

What fare options are available on ConnecTix?

Day Pass ($7)

Weekly Pass ($25)

10-Trip Pass ($25)

Single trip ($2.50)

Single trip with transfer ($3.50)


Reminders about ConnecTix:

Balance protection is not offered

Discounted fares (such as half fares) are not available

ConnecTix are not reloadable

ConnecTix expire 30 days from the date of purchase


If you have additional questions, please contact Customer Service or call 412-442-2000.