The Citrus Connection is switching from paper passes to plastic “smartcards” that riders can tap on a reader when they get on a bus. An electronic chip in a rider’s card stores his or her reduced fares and account balance.

It costs $2 to buy the smartcard, but a $3 day pass is added when the user registers the card.

Riders can buy the cards with cash or credit cards starting Monday from the driver on any fixed-route bus or these locations:

  • Citrus Connection Main Office: 1212 George Jenkins Blvd.
  • Winter Haven Transit Terminal: 555 Avenue E NW
  • Regional Mobility Call Center: 1290 Golfview Ave., 2nd Floor, Bartow

They will also be available soon at the Lakeland Transit Terminal, 200 N. Florida Ave.

Riders will be able to register their card and add cash value to it  at the same locations.

The smart cards aren’t mandatory; riders can still use cash for one-way trips. But a smart card will allow a traveler with a Day Pass to ride all day on a single $3 fare. Without the card, each ride is $1.50.

Citrus Connection riders will be able to continue using paper passes until Nov. 22, but today is the last day to purchase new ones.

Check the Citrus Connection website for more information about smartcards and fares.

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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