Austin MetroRail kiosks will begin only accepting cash

MetroRail (Courtesy: Capital Metro)
MetroRail (Courtesy: Capital Metro)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — If you plan to take the MetroRail you should probably stop by an ATM first.

Ticket kiosk for MetroRail tickets. (KXAN Photo/Amanda Dugan)
Ticket kiosk for MetroRail tickets. (KXAN Photo/Amanda Dugan)

Starting on Monday, the ticket vending machines will not longer accept credit or debit cards. However, you can still use a card if you book your trip through the Capital Metro App. Passes can also be purchased with a debit card at retail outlets, including many H-E-B, Fiesta and Randall’s stores.

“The CapMetro App offers customers more freedom and flexibility than the old-style platform vending machines,” said Dan Dawson, vice president of marketing and communications. “Customers can use their debit or credit cards anywhere, anytime to purchase tickets rather than waiting in line at a machine.”

CapMetro officials say the main reason for the change is the cost to upgrade software and hardware for the 22 MetroRail ticket vending machines to read chip-and-pin credit cards is too costly. “The cost analysis we did over a 5-year period showed that the cost to upgrade ($4.6 million) would be nearly equal to the revenue we would receive during that time span,” explained Francine Pares, a spokesperson with CapMetro in April.

By the end of the year, all ticket vending machines at MetroRail stations will be cash only. This weekend, the changes will start at the downtown, Plaza Saltillo and MLK stations. The others will get the new cash only machines over the next few Sundays.

The machines will still take CapMetro’s stored value cards which are available in $20 or $40 increments. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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