Metro for Graduate Students

General Information

Metro Q cards are available for sale in the Cashier’s Office (first floor Allen Center). The card value is $250. A ride costs a discounted $0.60 instead of the usual $1.25, so the card has 416 rides on local bus service or the METRORail. The cost to graduate students is $55.00. A graduate student may buy only one Rice-subsidized METRO card per academic year. Rice-Subsidized METRO cards are inactivated immediately after graduation with unused funds applied back to the program. Visiting students and post-docs are not eligible for university subsidized Metro Q Cards. If you were a graduate student during a prior year and already have a METRO Q card with a remaining balance, the balance is available until utilized. However, you are encouraged to exhaust that balance before purchasing your new fare card.

Students must present a Rice student ID to the cashier. Payment may be made in person or the charge may be added to the student’s bill. When purchasing your Metro Q Card you must accept the following terms and conditions governing your acceptance and use of the METRO card:

The METRO Q Card is for my personal use only and may not be sold, exchanged, loaned, given or otherwise willfully transferred to any other individual or entity. I understand and agree that any violation of the these restrictions will result in the loss of my ability to receive another METRO Q Card from Rice University for the remainder of my matriculation and may be considered a violation of the Code of Student Conduct.

Lost or Stolen METRO Q-Cards

Any lost or stolen METRO Q Card will be canceled and must be reported to the Cashier’s Office either in person or via as soon as possible. There is a fee of $25 for every replacement card.

Students are expected to use one card for the entire time they are Rice students. DO NOT discard your METRO Q Card at the end of the academic year.

Q Cards by themselves do not guarantee access to METRO Rail. Students must tap their cards prior to each ride and cannot be double tapped to attempt to pay for another individual. Metro Police can scan your METRO Q Card to determine whether or not it was tapped.

Using Your METRO Q-Card

  • Tap your Q Card on the Q Box located on all buses and on ticket vending machines (TVM) on METRORail platforms. The correct fare will be deducted from your Q Card for local, express, METRORail, or Park and Ride Services. When you tap your Q Card on the Q Box, a green light will appear with your remaining balance. If you accidentally tap your card a second time on the Q Box, a red light will appear, however, you will not be charged a second time.
  • Lost or Stolen Q-Cards – Once you realize you have lost your Q Card or it has been stolen, contact the Cashier’s Office immediately either in person in the Allen Center or via You will be contacted when your replacement can be picked up at the Cashier’s Office.

Other Important Information

The Passport to Houston Office is located in the Student Center Administration Office on the second floor of the Rice Memorial Center (take the stairs by the Grand Hall).

Graduate students at the Jones School are not eligible for this program. Student fees collected by the Jones School are being used to fund other Jones School student activities.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or general feedback, please email

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