A rechargeable plastic metroCARD is the best option for frequent passengers on Adelaide Metro buses, trains and trams. The fare you pay each time you use your metroCARD depends on the time of day you travel and any concession cards you have.
You can buy or recharge a metroCARD at many locations across Adelaide or order a metroCARD online and we will post it to you. metroCARDs and products associated with the metroCARD system are non-refundable.
We recommend you register your metroCARDs with us. This will make it easier for you to recharge and manage your card, and gives you extra protection if it gets lost or stolen. You can register:
Already got a metroCARD account?
The metroCARD account screen will open in a new window.
You can also manage your metroCARD:
You need to validate your metroCARD every time you get on a bus, train or tram (unless you are catching a free bus or tram service), or when you enter or exit barrier gates at selected stations.
Hold the metroCARD in front of the validator or the mark on barrier gates, and wait for the light and/or sound that tells you it has worked. Find out more about how to catch a bus, train or tram.
Anyone can buy a regular, concession or student metroCARD. However, if you are travelling on a concession or student metroCARD, you must also carry your relevant concession card or student ID card with you. You will need to show it to your driver or inspector if they ask for it.
A metroCARD account must be in the name of the person who will be managing the card and paying for any auto recharges, even if someone else is using the card. For example, a parent can setup an online account in their own name, then register and manage the various cards their children are using.
To create an account, you will need:
When you create a metroCARD account, you are its account holder. As the account holder, you can:
You need to call the Adelaide Metro InfoLine on 1300 311 108 or visit the InfoCentre at the Adelaide Railway Station if you want to:
Only the registered account holder can make changes and you will need to pass an identity check before staff can access your account.
If you want to remove a metroCARD that has an active auto recharge from your account, you need to deactivate the auto recharge before we can remove the card.
How you login to your account depends on the type of metroCARD you have:
You may need to reset the password to login to your metroCARD account if:
You must have a valid email address in your metroCARD or Seniors Card account to reset your password online. When you start the reset process, you will receive an email with instructions for completing the process.
If you need metroCARD password help, please call the InfoLine on 1300 311 108 or visit the Adelaide Metro InfoCentre at the Adelaide Railway Station. Only the account holder can access the account, so make sure you have some identification.
If you need to add an email address to your Seniors Card account, please contact the Seniors Unit on 1800 819 961.
Your plastic metroCARD never expires, so you can recharge it whenever you need to use Adelaide Metro services.
You can recharge your card as you need it and have funds available immediately:
Funds are available within an hour and will load to your metroCARD next time you validate it if you recharge:
Recharges are in $5 blocks, up to $200. Our systems update overnight, so it can take up to 48 hours for your balance and transaction history to show in your metroCARD account.
Most vending machines accept credit/debit cards, notes and coins. The vending machines at interchanges and tram stops only accept credit/debit cards. When you recharge using a vending machine, do not remove your metroCARD from the machine until it shows the new balance on the screen and asks you to validate the card.
When you recharge your metroCARD online or over the phone, you need to validate it within three months to load the new credit. If you do not validate it within three months, contact us and we can reactivate the recharge transaction for you.
Use our interactive map to search for your nearest recharge location.
Auto recharge automatically tops up your metroCARD balance when it drops below a minimum amount ($5 for regular cards and $3 for concession, student or Seniors Card). You can choose your auto recharge value for any metroCARDs registered to your account.
If you have a VISA or Mastercard, you can setup auto recharge for any metroCARDs you manage:
When you validate your metroCARD on-board a bus, train or tram, or at barrier gates, the validator will flash both green and yellow lights to show it has auto recharged your metroCARD, and will display the new balance on the screen.
Any auto recharge changes you make in person at the InfoCentre will update immediately.
Any auto recharge changes you make online or by calling the InfoLine will be ready overnight, which is when our systems update. You will need to validate your metroCARD at a barrier gate or on-board a bus, train or tram to apply the update to the card itself.
When you buy a new 14-day or 28-day pass at the InfoCentre, through a metroCARD retailer or using a vending machine, it will be ready to go straight away.
When you buy a new 14-day or 28-day pass by calling the InfoLine, it will be available within an hour and will display in your online account 24 hours after you validate your metroCARD.
Your metroCARD account will show you how many passes are loaded to a metroCARD – you can have up to three passes stored on a card. You can't auto recharge a 14-day or 28-day pass but you can have an auto recharge set up on a metroCARD as a back up, to make sure you always have funds available. When a pass expires and there are no more passes loaded on the metroCARD, the validators will automatically switch to using the balance.
The pass you are currently using has its expiry date written next to it. Any passes that have ‘activation pending’ written next to them are the ones you have waiting. Passes get activated in the same order you bought them.
When you check your transaction history, ‘validation’ means you have paid your fare. ‘Validation (activation)’ means a new pass has loaded to your metroCARD from our system.
If you try to recharge your metroCARD at a vending machine and cancel the transaction after you have paid, it will be automatically paid back to your bank account within 10 business days. After this time, you may need to contact your bank for details of the transaction.
If an auto recharge payment fails, we will email you to tell you how much you owe and how to pay. If you do not pay by the due date, we will cancel your auto recharge and, potentially, your metroCARD. If you have any queries about a debt-related email you receive, you can reply to it directly for help. If you have any general questions or issues with your auto recharge, please call the InfoLine on 1300 311 108.
You can check the balance on your metroCARD:
When you validate your metroCARD on a bus, train or tram, the validator displays the balance of your metroCARD on its screen. If your balance is low, the validator will flash a green light.
You can transfer the balance from a metroCARD registered in your name to a different card you already or own, or to a new card. Balance transfers can be done in person at the Adelaide Metro InfoCentre at the Adelaide Railway Station. The registered account holder needs to pass an identity check before staff can access the account.
If you are transferring your balance to a card you already own, make sure you have the other card with you. If you are transferring to a new card, you need will need to buy the new metroCARD.
You may also need to pay the difference to the closest $5 recharge.
If a metroCARD registered to your account is stolen or lost, cancel it as soon as you can:
Staff at the InfoCentre can transfer any remaining balance from the old card to a different metroCARD you already have, or to a new one. If you need to buy a replacement card, it is $5 for a regular card or $3.50 for a concession/student card. You may also need to pay to top-up your recharge value to the nearest $5 block.
If you have not registered your metroCARD, we cannot track it, cancel it or replace it if it is lost or stolen. If something goes wrong, you will lose your remaining balance. We can only do a balance transfer from an unregistered metroCARD if it is a faulty product and you present it at the InfoCentre.
A paper MetroTicket cannot be registered or replaced if it gets lost.
Your metroCARD can stop working if it is bent, punctured, cut, or exposed to extreme heat or radiation.
If your metroCARD does not work because it does not have enough credit on it, you will need to recharge it immediately through your online metroCARD account or using a vending machine. Alternatively, you can buy a paper ticket on-board a tram or train. You can't buy tickets on buses, so please speak with your driver for more information.
If you think your card is damaged or faulty, or you need to replace it, visit the Adelaide Metro InfoCentre at the Adelaide Railway Station.
Unless your metroCARD is a faulty product, staff at the InfoCentre at the Adelaide Railway Station can transfer any remaining balance from a registered metroCARD to either a new card or different one that you already own. If you need to buy a new card, it is $5 for a regular card or $3.50 for a concession/student card. You may need to pay the difference to get the nearest $5 recharge block to transfer any remaining balance. The registered account holder for the metroCARD needs to pass an identity check before staff can access the account.
In line with the metroCARD terms and conditions (PDF, 723 KB), metroCARD, MetroTickets and associated products and services are non-refundable.
The only exceptions are to this are:
Representatives of deceased registered metroCARD holders can apply for a refund online.