Minneapolis bus transfer two-for-one?
December 30, 2008 3:53 PM   Subscribe

In Minneapolis, MN, I put my money in the fare slot for the bus, and two transfer tickets came out. Will they both work?

I live in Minneapolis, MN. I was getting on the bus, and put my money in the fare slot, and two transfer tickets came out, instead of one. This is a relatively frequent occurance. Sometimes they just get stuck together or the machinery accidentally grabs two somehow, but I've never thought to try giving one to a friend to see if it works. Not that I would necessarily want to cheat the system, but... well yeah, I want to cheat the system. I'm poor and it's rush hour. Will both transfers work? Only one is timestamped and all that. It's not like it accidentally grabbed and processed two transfers. It grabbed two and thought it was one. The tickets used in Minneapolis are just paper cards with a magnetic stripe on them. I guess I've only ever gotten day passes in Chicago, but if I recall, they look basically the same. I don't know what other cities have similar or the same ticket system. The tickets look basically like the one here. On the back, there's a black stripe that looks to be a magnetic strip.

Hurry! Only a few minutes before I need to catch my next bus. Actually, in all likelyhood, I'll have caught it before anyone can provide a definitive answer. If we try using the extra ticket, I'll report back on if it worked or not. And hopefully I won't have any really important questions needing answers in the next month.
posted by gauchodaspampas to Travel & Transportation around Minneapolis, MN (6 answers total)
Best answer: Won't work. I doubt the magnetic strip is activated on the card that's "in front". I'm not sure how you could cheat the system anyway - if they were both active, they'd both be good for the same 2.5 hours, unless you think there's a lucrative career in short-term transfer sales.
posted by antonymous at 4:05 PM on December 30, 2008

Yeah, best way to find out is by testing. People put different transfers in all the time, one after another, until they find the one that is not expired.

Also, we get one question per week, not month. Projects makes you wait a month, but Askme doesn't.
posted by soelo at 5:32 PM on December 30, 2008

I live (and bus) in Minneapolis. The card that actually has a proper transfer in it is the one that's printed; the blank one was just along for the ride. The black magstrip on the back is what stores your transfer info.
posted by neckro23 at 7:03 PM on December 30, 2008

Best answer: Antonymous, I was thinking about sharing the extra transfer with a friend, and possibly splitting the cost, or just giving it as a gift since she's even poorer than me. And I can't keep up with how many questions they're giving us these days. Well, I could, but I haven't been reading mefi or askme or meta much lately, so I don't. I thought at one point it was one a month, which I thought was pretty lame. And before that it had been two weeks. Anywho, yeah, I tested it. I tried the extra one first (the one that wasn't printed). Didn't work. Then I tried the one that was printed. Also didn't work! Weird. I had used such transfers in the past and they worked. Anyway, tried it again and it did. Just a fluke it seems. Maybe I put it backwards and didn't notice. Anyhow, it seems the answer is that only the printed one does work. I thought maybe both magstrips got written to somehow. Turns out, no, they don't.

It's too bad, because I was annoyed enough a few years ago when they raised fares from 1.25/1.75 to 1.50/2.00. $1.75/2.25 is steep. Bah. I say tax businesses more so their employees can actually get to work affordably.

posted by gauchodaspampas at 8:08 PM on December 30, 2008

I'll agree that increased fares aren't exactly leading to increased ridership, and that metrotransit funding faces pawlenty of problems. The cheapest way to go if you ride often is to get a 31-day pass - if you get the non-rush-hour one, it's only $59 for the month, which isn't bad when you consider the cost per day. Metrotransit also has some interesting "unadvertised" deals, like a $6 24-hour pass, and a $3.50 6-hour pass.
posted by antonymous at 8:22 AM on December 31, 2008

Response by poster: pawlenty of problems. Har har. So true, so true.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 9:45 AM on February 9, 2009

« Older Old Cat Falls While Sleeping. What can I do?   |   Which USB Mass Storage Device is which? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.