Frequently Asked Questions

How to Use Smartcards

Can I continue using my old smartcard (with a pink triangle in the corner) on metrobus?

You can continue using these cards, however:

  • Old Park & Ride tickets are not valid on metrobus
  • You cannot top up online (contact to get a free replacement card linked to your account
  • You can add tickets at an iPoint and use on bus as normal.

Old travelwest card

How do I register a card to my account?

To register a card you have obtained to your existing account, email who would be pleased to assist.

What is a Smartcard and how does it work?

Smartcards are credit card sized plastic cards that replace the need for the conventional paper tickets.

To use the Smartcard all you have to do is board the bus as usual and place your card on the ticket machine whilst informing the driver which ticket you wish to use on your card. The light on the machine then goes green meaning you can continue boarding the bus.

A picture of a smartcard

Where can I get a Smartcard?

Adult smartcards can be obtained when buying a ticket from a Metrobus iPoint, or from Bristol Bus Station.

Adult, child, young person and student cards can be ordered from this website.

What services accept Smartcards?

How do I use my Smartcard?

To pay with your sQuid Travel Purse on bus: Just advise the driver that you are paying by ePurse, ask for the ticket you want and then hold your card against the ticket machine.

To pay with your sQuid Travel Purse at a Metrobus iPoint: Place your card in the holder, select the ticket you want and select pay with sQuid

To use a ticket: If you already have a valid bus ticket on your card, all you have to do is hold your card against the reader on bus.

Online purchases: Tickets for Bristol Park and Ride and First Bus can be purchased online. You may collect your ticket on a collection point at Bristol Park and Ride sites, at a Metrobus iPoint, or on bus from 6am the following day (for tickets purchased before 11pm the previous day). The on bus collection facility is not currently available on services run by First Bus.

How do I collect / activate my ticket?

Tickets purchased online can be collected from:

  • a Metrobus iPoint, two hours after purchase, or
  • a Park & Ride site, 6am the day after purchase (orders must be made by 11pm). 

 Tickets can be collected at iPoints by inserting your card into the reader on the side of the unit. A message on the screen will then confirm that your tickets have been collected.

Image of a smartcard being inserted into an iPoint

Types of Tickets

What tickets are available and where can I buy them?

Pay-As-You-Go travel balance with the sQuid e-purse

When you register your smartcard and buy tickets, you can also register your card to be used as a sQuid Travel Purse. This means it can be used for cashless payments, which could be useful for passengers who are not frequent travellers. You can buy your tickets, or top up your Pay-As-You-Go e-purse credit online before 23:00 on the day before you wish to travel to guarantee that your ticket will be available to pick up on participating buses by 06:00 the next day.

Do the tickets on my Smartcard have an expiration date?

Unused tickets will expire 6 months after purchase.

What are Bristol Park & Ride Multiple Day Rider tickets?

Multiple Day Rider tickets entitle you to unlimited travel on any of 5, 10 or 20 days on Bristol Park & Ride services.

Does my Pay-As-You-Go balance have an expiration date?

Unused balance will never expire, but administration charges may apply after 12 months. Please visit sQuid for information.


What if my card gets lost or stolen?

If you have previously registered your card, email us to report your card as lost. The sooner you do this the sooner your tickets and any sQuid Travel Purse balance will be protected.

If you haven’t yet registered your lost card, get a new card by going to the Travelwest smartcard web site, create an account, and request a card. If your card is not registered then any remaining credit or tickets are not protected and cannot be transferred to your new card.

What happens if my Smartcard is not working?

You will need to make sure that you have valid tickets loaded onto your card, or enough money in your Pay-As-You-Go e-purse to pay for your fare. You can check this on your travelwest account and on bus. If you are still experiencing problems, telephone the helpline. Please note that after using your card on bus it will take approximately 24 hours for your online account to be updated to account of any tickets used or added to your card.

What should I do if my Smartcard hasn't arrived yet?

Your card should arrive within 5 working days. If you have been waiting longer than this, please phone the telephone helpline

How far in advance do I need to purchase a ticket?

Collect on Bus: Tickets need to be purchased by 23:00 the day before you travel

Collect at MetroBus iPoint: Please allow at least two hours after purchase

If you don't have a valid ticket or enough money on your card when boarding the bus then you will be asked to pay the correct cash fare.

Buying Online

What payment methods are accepted?

Credit or Debit. Payment options are displayed as part of the payment process.

What is the difference between Active, Pending and Expired tickets?

Active tickets are ready to be used.


Pending tickets are awaiting collection/activation. To do this you must collect your ticket on a Smartcard collection point at Park and Ride sites or on bus from 6am the following day (for tickets purchased before 11pm the previous day).


Expired tickets are no longer valid. You cannot re-activate an expired ticket, you must purchase new tickets.

Do I get an invoice when I buy online?

You will receive an email confirmation which should be kept as proof of purchase



Who do I contact to report an issue with the website?

Please visit our Contact Us page.