Human Resources

Houston METRO Q-card: Frequently Asked Questions


How will the company provided subsidy be added to my Q-card?
Once each month, a subsidy of up to $80 will automatically be added to the employee’s Q-card, provided the subsidy balance falls to $10 or less. This process does not require any action from the employee.

My trip cost is more than the subsidy. How can I get additional value added to my Q-card?
Employees can add any additional amount needed at First Service Credit Union on CNP-T 5th floor, at any METRO Fare Card kiosk, or online at

How will you know how much to preload on my Q-card?
The preloaded amount - $44, $66 or $80 - is based on the trip cost from the Park & Ride nearest the employee's home address as shown in ESS.

What is the subsidy amount for METROVan riders?
The subsidy amount for METROVan riders is $50 per month.

Can CenterPoint Energy employees get their Q-cards anywhere and still get the subsidy?
No. Metro have a system that tracks Q-card passes. CenterPoint Energy employees must get the Q-card itself from the First Service Credit Union, located at CNP-T, 5th floor, in order to receive the subsidy. These cards have been specifically coded to Centerpoint Energy.

Do I need to get a new Q-card each month?
No. Unlike the old paper passes, Q-cards are reloadable. Employees will simply reload their Q-card instead of getting a new card.

Can I add value to my Q-card any time?
Value can be added at First Service Credit Union Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. To add value at any time, employees can also go online to the METRO website,

I just loaded my Q-card. Do I need to wait 30 days before I can add value?
No. Employees may add value as necessary, however, the subsidy will be paid only once per month.

What form of payment can I use?
First Service Credit Union accepts cash, check, Visa or MasterCard. If you are not a credit union member, a valid driver’s license is required for the acceptance of checks and credit cards. Visa and MasterCard charges are run as cash advances, so the paying institution may charge a fee. At METRO’s Web site, you can pay using Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

Will the account balance be updated right away?
Once additional value is purchased, it usually takes 24 to 48 hours for METRO to credit that amount to the Q-card. If the additional amount does not show up on the card after that period, contact the credit union to ensure the proper amount was added to the account.

If I add value to the Q-card, will that affect whether I receive the subsidy?
No. The subsidy payment is triggered once a month, as long as your Q-card subsidy balance is $10 or less. However, if value is added to the Q-card at First Service Credit Union , the subsidy will be delayed because the system will continue to wait until the balance is $10 or less.

When I supplement my Q-card at First Service Credit Union, where are the funds applied?
When supplementing the Q-card in the credit union, the funds are applied on the Q-card corporate account.

How can I check the balance on my Q-card?
When you pay your fare, hold your Q-card to the Q-box. Your balance will be displayed along with the number of rides you've taken.

My card does not work. What should I do?
If your card is not working properly, you should take it to the METRO Treasury Department, located at 1900 Main Street. The office hours are Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

What is the pre-tax authorization and how does it work?
If you must add value to your Q-card beyond the monthly subsidy, the Pre-tax authorization allows you to reduce your taxable income by the amount of the purchase (to a maximum of $150 per month). In order to take advantage of the pre-tax incentive, employees must add value to their Q-cards at First Service Credit Union.
At the end of the month, Payroll is notified of each employee’s out-of-pocket amount.
There are no payroll deductions and employees do not need to participate in the pre-tax program to receive the subsidy.

What should I do if I lose my Q-card?
If you lost your card, you should go to First Service Credit Union and get your Q-card number. Take that information to METRO’s Treasury Department (located at 1900 Main St.) to get the balance transferred to the new card. The credit union will notify METRO of the lost card so it cannot be used if found.

Is it okay to put my Q-card in the same plastic card-holder with my ID badge?
The Q-card is a smart card and has a microchip inside. It can be affected by other smart cards, such as ID badges. Using the Q-card while it is near another smart card may keep it from working properly.

Is it okay if I let someone else use my card to take advantage of the subsidy the company provides?
No. The benefit may only be used by the employee receiving the subsidy. Any misappropriation or misuse of the subsidy will subject the employee to discipline, including termination of employment.

Do I need to bring my Q-card and ID badge with me to add value to the card?
Yes. Employees will need to bring their badges with them to First Service Credit Union when adding value to the Q-card. It is best to bring the Q-card as well to make sure the correct card is loaded.

Can someone else add value to my Q-card for me?
Yes. When having someone else add value the card for you, be sure to provide them with your Q-card and employee numbers. Personal checks made out from the absent person can only be accepted if that person is a member of First Service Credit Union and has the member number on the check. Credit card payments from the absent employee will not be accepted.

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