The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) is ready for back to school with the new S-Pass. The MTA Student Transit Pass, or S-Pass, is a credit card sized plastic fare card that students can use on any MTA Local Bus, Metro Subway or Light Rail.
Using S-Pass is easy; just slide it through the farebox on any Local Bus, insert it in the Metro Subway faregate or present it to a Light Rail fare inspector when requested.
"The S-Pass is the product of an MTA commitment to reinvent and improve the way people use Maryland's transit system," said MTA Administrator Ralign T. Wells. "The S-Pass is convenient for students and transforms how the agency accounts for student fares."
Students at Frederick Douglas High School and Poly-Western High School participated in a pilot program of the S-Pass system earlier this year. Cards will be issued system-wide to all Baltimore City Public School students eligible for MTA transportation and the system and will go "live" when classes begin later this month.
There are about 36,000 Baltimore City public school students eligible for the S-Pass. The MTA is providing city schools with the S-Pass, lanyards and pouches, MTA-issued student identification and brochures explaining how the S-Pass works.
S-Passes come equipped with a magnetic strip that allows the passes to be hotlisted against further use if lost or stolen. Students will be allowed to use the S-Pass Monday through Friday between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. Each card has a serial number and will be assigned to individual students by the school system. Students are responsible for their S-Pass and are to provide school identification when requested by an MTA official. Lost or damaged S-Passes are to be reported to each school's principal's office.
"The S-Pass means no more fumbling with paper tickets," said Wells "Like the CharmCard, the S-Pass is a major step forward in the integration of green technology at the MTA that will make it faster and easier to use the service."
For more information on MTA service, visit the MTA website at www.mta.maryland.gov. Customers can also call the MTA Transit Information Contact Center Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. at 410-539-5000. (TTY 410-539-3497) To sign-up for e-mail about service modifications and delays, click "e-mail notification" at www.mta.maryland.gov.