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MART Card Frequently Asked Questions

MART Farebox and Fare Card Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What will the farebox accept for fares?

A: The fareboxes accept $1, $5, $10 and $20 bills. It also accepts nickels, dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollar coins. The farebox also accept smart cards, magnetic tickets and mobile tickets (QR code).

Q: Do the fareboxes give change?

A: No, exact fare should be used. However, the fareboxes will issue magnetic “overpayment” tickets that can be used for future rides only. These tickets will NOT be redeemable for cash. A minimum overpayment of 25 cents is required for ticket issue.

Q: What kind of fare cards will I be able to buy?

A: MART will be using the new MART Card as a smart card fare media. These cards can be loaded with a bus pass (31 calendar days) – or you can add stored cash value. Stored value can be used to deduct the fare for a single ride directly. MART is also selling single ride magnetic tickets (coming in the summer). Passes and stored value can also be purchased online or using the mobile app. Fare products can only be purchased at a sales location or thru ticket vending machine (coming in the summer).

Q: Where can I purchase my MART Card?

A: Pass products and stored value can be purchased at MART sales locations at 1427R Water St (Lobby) and 100 Main Street (Ticket Agency) in Fitchburg, at 555 Main Street in Gardner (Dispatch Window), and at 573 South Street in Athol. Full fare products can also be purchased online at and thru the mobile app. Reduced fare customers will need to come to MART the first time to set up their account.

Q: Who can get a reduced fare MART card?

A: Seniors, the disabled, students (under 19 or with college ID), and veterans can all use a reduced fare MART Card. You must come to a MART sales location to prove age or status. If you have an existing statewide ID, TAP card, pink card, Medicaid card, veterans ID card, or even a Charlie Card you received previously from MART with your picture on it, you can use those as proof of status.  Once you validate eligibility, MART will automatically set up an account for you so that you can renew bus passes or stored value online. You can also choose between a MART smartcard or a mobile account.

Q: Is there anything else new?

A: Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs), Fare Capping, a mobile app called “MART on the GO”, and online purchasing are all new features of MART’s new fare collection system. TVMs will be installed in multiple locations over the summer. The mobile app can be found wherever you get your apps (Apple or Google). Online purchasing can be done at

Q: What is Fare Capping?

A: Fare Capping is a way to earn a monthly (31-day unlimited rides) pass by paying one ride at a time. If you use stored value on a MART card, once you’ve spent the value of a pass (example $1.25 per ride until you spend $30), then from the date when you paid for the first ride it will count 31 days and the rest of your rides will be free until the 31 days expires. So if you paid $1.25 on June 1st and got to $30 spent in stored value on June 15th; then all rides thru July 1st would be free. On July 2nd the system would start charging $1.25 again and repeat the 31 day cycle.

Q: Can I still use my MART tickets?

A: These tickets will still be accepted by the drivers after the new fareboxes are introduced. Please DO NOT put the ticket into the farebox.  Stored value can be placed on the fare card instead. Cash will always be accepted.

Q: Will MART exchange my old tickets for a new fare card?

A: No, but these tickets will still be accepted. Once you’ve used up your old tickets, you can then purchase a MART Card.

Q: Will MART replace my lost, stolen, or damaged fare card?

A: If you register your MART Card online, MART will be able to deactivate your lost, stolen or damaged card. We can even replace the registered card with the value stored on it. There will be time restrictions on replacing monthly passes. There will be a replacement fee for new cards. If you don’t register we won’t be able to verify the value on the card and therefore will not be responsible to replace it.

Q: Can I still use my Charlie Card?

A: You will NOT be able to use the Charlie Card on MART’s new fareboxes. They can’t read it. You can still use it on the other Massachusetts RTAs that use the Charlie Card, like the MBTA or Lowell RTA.

Mobile App (MART on the Go) and Online Purchasing Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where do I go to purchase MART fare products online?

A:  Go to to use our online eFare system. From the home page you can purchase a MART card without registering or you can “Signup” and immediately get the protections associated with creating an account like lost card replacement.

Q: How do I register my MART card online?

A:  Go to and follow these steps:

  1. Click on the signup button at the top of the page
  2. Enter all of the requested information and the login
  3. Click on “Register an Existing Card”
  4. Just enter the 10-digit card number and the 3-digit CVV number as they appear on the back of your MART Card to complete registration.
  5. The registered card should show up on the “My Cards” page.
  6. You can then click “Manage Card” to see what fare products are loaded on your card.

By registering your MART Card, you will receive balance protection if your card is lost or stolen. Registered customers can also enroll in Autobuy to automatically replenish your card’s value, along with checking usage and order history.

Q: I am qualified to receive a reduced fare. Why can't I buy online?

A:  Riders who are eligible under MART rules to receive a reduced fare must first come to MART to set up their online account. Once registered at MART, then you can login at home and replenish fare products from your home computer or download the app and do everything from your mobile device. However when you register at MART you either purchase a farecard to tap at the box or you tell them you want the mobile app. You can only have ONE reduced fare product. A pass and mobile ticketing are considered two different products.

You can have a full fare mobile product and 1 reduced fare card (like a mom who has mobile for herself and purchases a student pass for their child).

Q: Can I use my debit card to purchase tickets?

A:  Yes, MART on the Go will accept Visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards. It also accepts Discover and American Express credit cards.

Q: Who has access to the information about me and my debit/credit cards?

A:  MART respects and protects your privacy.  Please go to the “Contact Us” page and then click on “Privacy Policy” for the complete answer to this question.

Q: How do I get the mobile app?

A:  The app is available on the App Store (for Apple devices) and the Google Play Store (for Android devices). Search for “MART on the Go” to find this listing.  There also links to each app store on the top of the “Fares and Passes” page of this website.

Q: I’m having problems installing the app. What can I do?

A:  Try rebooting your device and then try the download and installation again.

Q: I don’t have email on my mobile device. Can I still use the app?

A:  Your email address is your User ID for MART on the Go. Email is also required so that you can receive confirmation of your orders and other information related to mobile ticketing. So although it’s not required to have email stored on your mobile device, it does make it easier.  Email should be somewhere that you can access your email and your device at the same time.

Q: How do I start using the app?

A:  Do the following steps:

  1. Download and install the app.
  2. Open the app.
  3. Click on “log In”.
  4. Click on the “Sign Up” link.
  5. Input your name, email address and a password.
  6. Click on “Register”.
  7. If desired, you can create a name for your “wallet.” Enter the name and click on “Create Wallet”.
  8. Click on “Settings”.
  9. Enter your address information and click on “Save”.

Q: How do I buy MART fare products in the app?

A:  Do the following steps:

  1. Click on “My Passes”.
  2. Click on “Purchase Passes”.
  3. Decide what tickets you want to purchase and then click on the “+” sign next to tan item to set the quantity of tickets you want to purchase. (You can purchase different kinds of fares in the same transaction.)
  4. After setting the quantity, click on the “Continue” button.
  5. Review the fare products that are in your cart and make any adjustments needed. (You can click the Red “X” to remove a selection.)
  6. Press “Continue” to move to the Payment Page.
  7. Enter the Cardholder Name and Credit Card information. (You have the option to save your credit card information or if you prefer, you can enter this information each time you purchase tickets.)
  8. Click “Pay with your Credit Card”.
  9. You should receive a message saying your payment has been received and an Order Receipt via email with the details of your order.
  10. The tickets you purchased should now display under “My Passes”.

Q: How do I use my fare products on the bus?

A:  Do the following steps:

  1. Open the MART on the Go app.
  2. Click on “My Passes”.
  3. Click on the pass you want to use.
  4. The pass will be displayed in a new window. Click on “Tap Here to Activate Pass”.
  5. A pop-up window will appear that explains that one ride will be deducted from your ride balance and that the code will expire 3 minutes after activation. (We highly recommend that you don’t activate a ride until the bus is in sight.) If you are sure you want to activate your ride now, click on “Yes”.
  6. An active QR code will be displayed on your screen and a 3 minute timer will start on the bottom of the display.
  7. When you board the bus, present the barcode on your phone’s display to the bar code reader on the right-hand side of top of the farebox (in the same area that bills are inserted.)
  8. When your ticket is accepted, the farebox will display “Fare Satisfied” and the driver will also see the fare notification.

Q: I’m having problems getting the farebox to read the pass on my phone. What can I do?

A:  Please adjust the brightness on your phone to maximum and try again.

Q: My phone has been lost or stolen or no longer works. Have I lost my stored fares??

A:  Your fare products are not lost.  Please contact MART Customer Service at 978-345-7711, option 3, so we can transfer your fares to a new device.

Q: What if I am buying a new device? Can I move my app to the new device and still access my purchases?

A:  Yes, follow the steps below to transfer an app account from a working device to a new device:

  1. Go to the original mobile device (MD1) and launch the MART on the Go app
  2. Go to My Passes and click on the “Account Management” red button
  3. On the Account Management screen, click on “Transfer Card”
  4. Alert message will pop up requesting the user to enter the password for the account. Enter the password and click on “Verify”
  5. Account is released, and the user is logged out of the “My Passes” immediately and navigated to the landing screen.
  6. Go to Mobile Device 2 (MD2) and open the app (download and install if not already done).
  7. Go to “Log In” page and log in with the same credentials used to release the account
  8. Alert will be displayed notifying the user that the account is being retrieved. Click on Retrieve.
  9. Verify if all the fare products from MD1 have been moved to MD2
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