Cincinnati METRO recently unveiled their latest addition to a series of service upgrades that will change the way citizens can purchase bus passes. Attached to the information booth at Government Square, located at Fifth and Walnut Streets, METRO installed the Queen City's very first ticket vending machine. 

Providing 24 hour access, customers will no longer need to visit the METRO Sales Office to purchase a fare ticket. Previously, passengers would have to buy a ticket from a clerk at the retail shop which was only open on weekdays, 7:00AM-5:30PM.  The storefront inside the Mercantile Building will remain open for customer service, however, the vending machine now provides flexibility in purchasing fares.

"This is just another way to make riding METRO easier and enjoyable. It's about making sure individuals can buy passes when it's convenient to them," said Terry Garcia Crews, CEO & General Manager of Cincinnati METRO.

Terry Garcia Crews, CEO & General Manager of Cincinnati METRO, and METRO Board Chair Jason Dunn
reveal the first ticket vending machine

"It's a primary focus to improve passenger experience of METRO by listening to and being responsive to customers' needs," continued Garcia Crews. "We've made sure that the ticket vending machine is accessible to individuals with disabilities, so it is at the appropriate height level. The machine is also bilingual and offers instructions in Spanish."

30-day rolling pass displays in English and Spanish

Minimal effort is needed to use the new ticket vending machines. The process is outlined in three easy steps with big, bold numbers.

1.) Select the type of ticket you want to purchase

2.) Insert money: you can pay with credit card or exact cash. 
No coins or debit cards are accepted.

3.) Retrieve your bus pass, which prints at the bottom of the machine along with a receipt.

 Now you're ready to ride METRO!

If you're riding the bus on a weekend or after hours when the sales booth is closed, you can buy a monthly pass or stored value card from the vending machine. A stored value card is my favorite way get around the city. It's perfect for the rider-by-choice; a person who uses the bus for leisure rather than a daily commute. The stored value card works similar to a gift card: an increment of $10, $20, or $30 is loaded onto a card then is swiped at the fare box when boarding the bus. The fare is automatically deducted; all you have to do is sit down and enjoy the ride.

AJ Knee was the first walk-up customer to use the vending machine.

METRO CEO & General Manager Terry Garcia Crews also bought a fare card from the vending machine
WCPO's Janell Walton stopped by for a bus pass

An added perk: customers can add up to 4 separate fare cards on one transaction.

Corryville and Clifton residents can look forward to the next ticket vending machine, which will be installed as part of the Uptown Transit District project. Be on the look out for real time information updates and a cell phone app, which are planned for the near future as METRO continues to roll out improvements while modernizing Cincinnati's transit system.