Rea Vaya’s automatic transfer system means you won’t get charged for a new trip when you change buses while in transit. If you catch more than one Rea Vaya bus to get to your destination, you should ideally only be charged for one trip.

Transferring from another bus to another

If your second bus ride is counted as a continuation of your first bus ride, instead of as a new trip, then your overall journey will be cheaper. This is why, when you get off at a Rea Vaya station and wait there for a connecting bus, you don’t need to “tap out” with your card yet, or to “tap in” again when you board your second bus. You only tap out at your final destination – either as you exit the station, or as you exit the bus, if you’re getting off at a bus stop.

But what if I have to change stations to get my connecting bus?

Getting your connecting bus may require changing stations. For example, you may have to exit the Carlton Centre Eastbound station and walk across to the Carlton Centre Westbound station to continue your journey – in which case you’ll have to tap out and tap in again. To make sure you’re not charged for a new trip when you do this, Rea Vaya has introduced a system of automatic transfers at selected high-traffic stations. Under this system, your second tap-in will be recognized as a continuation of your journey – so long as you make it within 15 minutes of your first tap-out. This applies, for now, only to transfers made at the following selected stations: iNdingilizi, Joburg Theatre, Carton Centre, UJ Sophiatown, Library Gardens, and Chancellor House.

How do automatic transfers work? Here’s an example

Suppose you travel from Thokoza Park to Yeoville. You tap in at Thokoza Park and take the T1 to Library Gardens in the CBD. You make your first tap out as you exit the Library Gardens Eastbound station, walk across and make your second tap in as you enter Library Gardens Westbound station. From here you take the F11 to Yeoville, where you tap out for the last time. Now, so long as the time you took to transfer from the T1 to the F11 – the time between first tap out and second tap in – is less than 15 minutes, you’ll automatically be charged for just one trip, based on the overall distance from Thokoza Park to Yeoville.

What if I take longer than 15 minutes to transfer buses

No problem, no penalty. However, your journey will in that case be counted as two separate trips, and you’ll be charged accordingly.

And if I make two transfers in the same journey?

So long as both transfers are made at one of the above stations, and so long as you transfer within 15 minutes each time, you’ll be charged for just one trip instead of three.