Bitfare Banner

Buy Transit Passes, Tickets, Tokens, Add Value to Fare Cards with Bitcoin.

[Home] | [How it Works] | [FAQ] | [Contact] | [Current Rate]


What the heck is Bitcoin?
Go here:

How long will it take for me to receive my tickets or have value added to my smart card?
Orders are processed and verified manually, which ensures that everything is current and accurate. Expect a day or two for Bitfare to verify your order and send you a quote with bitcoin address. Then your order will be fulfilled once your bitcoins are sent and they have an adequate number of confirmations on the network. After that, it depends on your fare product and transit agency. Smart card reloads generally take 1-3 days to get on the card once the order is submitted to the system. Mail order can take a week or more. Repeat Bitfare customers may be eligible for expedited service, where we fully process your order as soon as we get it and trust that bitcoins will be forthcoming.

How is the exchange rate determined?
Bitfare is currently using the bitcoin charts rolling 7-day average of USD weighted prices as the basis for the exchange rate. For simplicity, this rate is rounded up to the nearest whole integer. The daily rate is updated at midnight, Pacific Time, and is displayed on the current rate page.

What about refunds?
Full refunds will be issued in case the transaction does not go through for whatever reason. There may be quirks that might make the transaction infeasible or have unexpected results. For example, your favorite transit agency may suddenly institute a policy that the shipping address has to be the same as the billing address, or that the billing address cannot be out of state, etc. However, refunds cannot be issued once the farecard is loaded or tickets sent. If you provide a refund bitcoin address in your original order, that will expedite the refund process in case it is needed.

How can I trust this service?
To earn your trust and let you try out the service, bitfare is currently offering to process orders prior to receiving payment for small orders (less than $10). This means that you don't have to send any bitcoins until you receive your product or see your balance on your smart card. This offer will be revoked if it gets abused. An escrow service can be used, if desired. Farecards generally have strong built-in security and farecard value is non-reversible.

No service fees? Really? How can you do this?
Bitfare is not run as a for-profit business, more like a hobby/experiment. These are Bitfare's motives:

  1. We like alternative and green transportation, and hope that this service might make transit more useful and convenient for some folks.
  2. We support the bitcoin project and think it holds promise, but only if people actually use it for legitimate commerce, as opposed to mining, speculation, and illegal activity.
  3. We want to offer opportunities for people to be able to use advanced systems like smart cards even if they do not have a credit card, or do not want to have their fare card linked to their credit card. Bitcoin offers a method to truly anonymize your smart card.

Why do I have to provide an email address? Can't you just create an automated form for instant gratification?
It's going to be difficult to fully automate the bitfare service, given that we are dealing with a multitude of different transit agencies with different fare products and back-office systems, which change constantly without notice. Every incoming order is manually verified to make sure that everything is all set before you send any bitcoins. Email seems to be the best way, for now, to communicate with you and send the bitcoin address after manual order verification. If one particular fare system proves popular, then we may be able to develop a fully-automated form for that system. However, the ultimate goal is to have transit agencies accept bitcoin directly and have this service rendered obsolete.

What is your privacy policy?
Your email or order form information will come directly to a server located at a private residence, where it will be stored temporarily in a secure IMAP folder. Emails will be deleted after 60 days. We maintain a spreadsheet of transactions in order to track refunds and offer expedited service to repeat customers. If you would rather not have this information recorded, just let us know, however it may complicate processing of refunds. We will not turn over any information to any third party under any circumstances; except when required by law. When you provide a mailing address, we generally need to share that address with the transit agency in order to fulfil your order. If you do not want this information shared, there may be an option for us to relay the mail to you, however this will incur additional shipping time and postage.

Do you accept donations?
Of course! Donations are appreciated and help to cover the costs of running the service. Donations can be sent to:


Any other questions? Just ask.

© 2014

Last Update: 7/26/2014