Skip to main content.

The Wave

More Than a Smart Card

When The Wave arrives, it will make riding The Rapid easier, faster, and more convenient -- for riders and operators. The Wave is a smart card that holds pay-as-you-go value to make travel on The Rapid buses easier than ever before. Just purchase, tap, and reload.

Rapid Wave smart card

1

Purchase

Purchase a Wave card for a small one-time fee, then add funds through the app, website, phone, or at transit locations.

Wave card vending machine

2

Tap

Tap your card to the reader every time you board or transfer, and you're on your way. Or use The Wave app on your smart phone to scan your pass.

Tap and go on machine with Wave card

3

Load

Top off your account anywhere, anytime using The Wave app, the website, or by visiting the Information Center at Rapid Central Station. Or just set your card to auto-load funds whenever your balance is low — and ride The Rapid without worry.

Using a tablet to reload Wave card funds

Why Using The Wave is a Smart Choice

Money icon

Save Money

The Wave will give you the best deal on your fare based on how much you ride.

Map Pin icon

Load Anywhere

Top off your account anywhere, anytime. Or choose auto-load to add funds when your balance is low.

Key icon

Account Management

Set up a payment method, manage multiple cards, see your history and more.

Get The Wave

You will be able to purchase your Wave card for a small one-time fee for the card itself, which will last up to 10 years. Then add funds to your card (there is a $5 minimum). Each rider (42” or taller) will need their own.

If you're a frequent rider, auto-load is the way to go — just set it to add funds when your balance is low, and ride The Rapid without worry.

You can purchase The Wave card just about anywhere with:

  • The Wave website or app
  • In person at Rapid Central Station and Silver Line stations
  • At retail network locations such as grocery and convenience stores

If The Wave card was not purchased from a ticket machine, it will be mailed to you. Lost your card? You can get it replaced for a small fee.

Register Your Card

Get access to benefits like balance protection in case you lose your card, and auto-load, which means you’ll never be stuck without fare.

Tap

If you’re using a smart card, simply touch your card to the reader every time you board or transfer, and you’re on your way. There will be readers at every Rapid Silver Line station (tap before you board) and on board every bus (tap as you board).

If you’re using The Wave app on your smart phone, you can scan your pass at the bottom of the reader below the QR code.

'Tap' every time you board a vehicle. The card reader will show a green checkmark and you'll hear a sound confirming that you paid your fare. It'll also show you how much time you have left on your ticket or pass, and alert you if your balance is running low.

Load Anywhere

By registering your card you can view your account balance, manage one or multiple cards, see recent trips and transactions, or set your card to Auto-Load, so you’ll never be stuck without fare. Registration can be done online or while using the mobile app.

Add money to your account anywhere, anytime using The Wave app, the website, at a ticket vending machine, or by visiting the Information Center at Rapid Central Station. 

Auto-load and Ride Without Worry

If you’re a frequent rider, auto-load can be set to reload funds to your account when your balance is low. You can set your amounts and never worry about fares again.

Benefits


Fast and Easy
Say goodbye to paper tickets. Simply touch your Wave card to the reader every time you board or transfer, and you're on your way! There will be readers on every bus and at every Silver Line Station. 

Save Money
When you ride The Rapid using your Wave smart card you can get the savings of daily, weekly, and monthly passes, but without the commitment or the upfront cost. You pay your way one trip at a time, and you’ll never pay for a trip you don’t take. The Wave will give you the best deal on your fare based on how much you ride. It’s a 'pay-as-you-go' pass: Earn a day pass after riding twice in one day, or a monthly pass after riding twice a day for 20 days.

In other words, once you've reached the cost of a monthly pass, you'll receive unlimited rides for the rest of the month. So everyone gets the savings of a pass without the upfront cost.

Load Anywhere
Top off your account anywhere, anytime using The Wave app, website, or visit the Information Center at Rapid Central Station. Or choose auto-load to add funds when your balance is low.

It's simple. Once you add a payment method to your account, just choose the balance amount you want auto-load to kick in at and then select the amount you want to add to your Wave card. 

Account Management
You can quickly register your card and set up a funding source using our mobile-friendly website or app. You can manage multiple cards, see a history of your recent trips and transactions, and deactivate/reactivate a lost or stolen card. And don't forget to set up auto-load, so you’re never stuck without fare.  

When The Wave arrives in 2018, it will make riding easier, faster and more convenient — benefiting riders and operators.

  • Fast and easy fare payment
  • No paper tickets or exact change required
  • Save money by always getting the best fare
  • Added benefits for frequent riders
  • Load anywhere
  • Manage your account

Don't worry. We still take cash. 

You’ll be able to purchase The Wave card using cash within our retail network of supermarkets, convenience stores and more. If you don’t have a card, you’ll still be able to use cash on buses — just like today — but you’ll miss out on Wave benefits like automatic reloading and paying your way toward a 31-Day Pass.

This means riders without a bank account can use The Wave, too.

You’ll need to tap your card or phone to the reader every time you board or transfer. Don’t worry, tapping doesn’t necessarily mean paying — The Wave card won’t charge you if you have a valid fare or you’re within your transfer timeframe.

You can see how much money/time is remaining on your card by visiting The Wave website, at ticket vending machines or Rapid Central Station. The green check you see when you tap to board and transfer means you're good to go (you won’t necessarily pay every time you tap).

There is no service charge for using The Wave. However, there is a $5 minimum when loading value. There's also a $3 fee for the card itself, which will last up to 10 years. Replacement cards are $3.

Registering for The Wave will give you access to benefits like balance protection, in case you lose your card. Simply report your card as lost or stolen and purchase a replacement card for $3. Add the card to your account to access your remaining balance.

Whether you're the head of your family or just the leader of your group, it's easy to manage Wave cards for several riders. Just make sure everyone has their own card registered to the Wave account. Then add value and get on board! 

Transit value isn’t stored on Wave cards and can’t be read by unauthorized personnel — when you tap your card to the reader, a transaction is instantly sent to the central system and deducted from your account balance. Your bank and personal information is protected and more secure compared to using a traditional magnetic stripe card.

In your account, you’ll also be able to see your card use history, including where you’ve tapped on. We’ll never sell this data.

Participating employers, agencies, and schools will be able to provide employees, clients, and students with Wave cards. So if you’re used to getting a pass this way, the only change will be remembering to tap on each time you board your bus.

You can get a Wave card through our network of supermarkets, convenience stores and pharmacies. You’ll also be able to top off your card at these stores using cash or a bank card.