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Swipe N Ride - FAQs

How do I apply for the TN State Employees Swipe and Ride card?
Employees will be able to contact their Department’s Human Resources (HR) Swipe and Ride contact for an application or download the application online at
http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/smartcommute/stateemployees.htm.    All employees must send their application to be processed by TDOT through their Department HR office. 

Who is eligible for the services?
The employee transit card is available to all full-time and 120 day appointment state employees who work in Davidson and Shelby County. The program is not available to the following individuals:

  • Temporary, seasonal, interns and co-ops are not currently eligible. 
  • Contract Employees – Those individuals who are hired by an outside agency to provide services to state agencies. (Some examples are: temporary employees, janitorial personnel, consultants, security personnel, etc.)
  • Employees of the Board of Regents and/or Universities
  • State Employees who have abused the program and have had their transit card privileges suspended or revoked.

How long is this service available?
The Department of Transportation (TDOT) contracts annually with the transit agencies in Memphis and Nashville. Currently, the contact with the Nashville Metro Transit Authority (MTA) will provide service through June 30, 2015. The contract with the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) will end in June 30, 2015. It is unknown if this benefit will continue after those contracts end, although it is TDOT’s hope that we can continue to provide this program.

What transit services are available through this program?
In Memphis, all transit services offered through MATA are eligible for use for work related trips. This includes the regularly scheduled bus routes, trolleys and MATAPlus service for those that qualify.
In Nashville, all transit services offered through MTA are eligible for use for work related trips.  This includes the regularly scheduled bus routes, the Gallatin Road BRT route, and AccessRide to those that qualify. Additionally, the Regional Transit Authority’s (RTA) Music City Star Commuter Train is included as well as RTA’s Relax and Ride routes between Mufreesboro and Nashville, Gallatin and Nashville, and Spring Hill and Nashville. Please see RTA website for details on routes.
Who do I contact if I have questions regarding the TN State Employees Swipe and Ride program?

Each agency should have a Swipe and Ride contact within their HR office, this should be the employee’s primary contact for information about the program. The statewide contact for information regarding the program is: Multimodal Swipe-and-Ride at 615-253-1028 Swipe.N.Ride@tn.gov

 Where can I find route information?
Services are only available for the routes currently on the transit schedules.

For Memphis, the schedules can be viewed on MATA’s website at : http://www.matatransit.com/

For Nashville bus service, the schedules can be viewed on Nashville MTA’s website at http://www.nashvillemta.org/

Nashville’s Music City Star Commuter Train and Regional Relax and Ride route schedules can be viewed at the Regional Transportation Authority’s  (RTA) website: http://www.musiccitystar.org/

Does this service cover people with special needs?
Yes.  For Riders with disabilities, the Nashville MTA has Access Ride and MATA has MATAPlus that offers door-to-door service for those that qualify.   This is covered under the Swipe and Ride program.  The employee must apply to the transit agencies directly (see web links above) to determine if you qualify for this service. If accepted, you will need to apply for a Swipe and Ride card separately through your HR contact. 

What if my Swipe and Ride card does not work?
For Memphis area employees: If your card is not working properly, you can take it to the North End Terminal so MATA employees can test the card.  If the card is defective (not due to cracking, puncturing, or other damage of the card) MATA will replace the card within the first 30 days of its issuance. 

For Nashville area Employees:  If your card is not working properly, you may contact the TDOT Program Administrator  at Swipe.N.Ride@tn.gov or 615-253-1028 (505 Deaderick Street, Suite 1800 J.K.Polk Bldg.)

If the card is deemed defective due to damage caused by the employee, the employee must re-apply through their HR office and pay the replacement card fee (see below).

How long will it take for me to get my Swipe and Ride card?
Typical processing can take around 2 weeks from the time the Department of Transportation receives your application for the Nashville area program.  For the Memphis Area program it usually takes about 3 weeks.

How do I pick up my Swipe and Ride card?
For Memphis area employees:  When the employee is notified that your card is ready for pick up, it will be available at the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) North End Terminal (444 N. Main Street).  The NET hours are from 7AM - 6PM Monday-Friday, 8AM-4:30PM Saturday.  Phone: (901) 523-8134 (Trolley service available from points downtown to terminal).

  • Please see the Ticket Desk or speak to a manager to pick up your card.
  • You will need to show a State ID and sign a form to receive your card.
  • Each employee must pick up their own card.
  • Your card will be held at the MATA offices for 4 weeks from notification, if it is not picked up within that period, the card will be deactivated and you must pay $8 to order a replacement card. 

For Nashville area employees:  Your HR Representative will be notified of cards that are ready for pick-up and will arrange to have them picked up at the Department of Transportation office and distributed to the employees.

What do I do if I change jobs?
If you are leaving state government, the transit card is to be returned to the agency’s Human Resource Contact.

For transfer within or between state agencies, you must notify your agency HR contact to report the change to TDOT, but there is no need to re-apply for a new card.

NEVER destroy cards, the cards are state property and they must be returned to the Department of Transportation.

What are the rules of usage for the TN State Employee Swipe and Ride program?
Rules are listed on the application and all employees are expected to abide by those rules.  The transit card is not a right, but a privilege authorized for state employees in good standing. In addition to the following rules, employees are expected to abide by all rules established by the transit services while using the services. 

  • The transit card is ONLY for state employees and WORK RELATED trips.
  • State employees may be asked to display their State Employee Photo ID to the driver when swiping their transit card.
  • The transit card will expire after two years or at the termination of the service contract.   
  • Upon exit from state service, the transit card is to be returned to the agency’s Human Resource Contact.
  • All name changes and employees transferring to other state agencies must notify their agency Human Resource contact to report the change to TDOT.
  • If an employee chooses to ride the bus in to work, but must travel to a meeting, lunch or another necessary appointment (ex. medical ) it is allowable
  • Weekend and holiday trips related to work are allowed
  • Bus transfers are also allowed

Employees using their card in excess for non-work related trips will be reported monthly and their card will be revoked for 1 year.   Additionally, TDOT and/or the employee’s agency head may, at their discretion, revoke an employee’s transit card at any time because of abuse.

What do I do if I lose my card?
In the event an employee’s card is lost, stolen or damaged, the employee must immediately request cancellation of the card to their HR office or the TDOT Program Administrator at Swipe.N.Ride@tn.gov or 615-253-1028. If a replacement card is desired, the employee must fill out an application indicating that they require a replacement and provide the following replacement card fee to their Human Resource Office Program Administrator who will send to TDOT for processing:

For Nashville:  A $10.00 replacement fee (check or money order only) made out to the “Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority”

For Memphis:  An $8.00 replacement fee (check or money order only) made out to the “Memphis Area Transit Authority”