Smart Commute Swipe N Ride FAQs

How do I apply for the Smart Commute Swipe N Ride program for Tennessee state employees?

Employees should contact their Department’s Human Resources (HR) Swipe N Ride contact for an application or download the application online. All applications must go through HR in order to be processed by TDOT.

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 or Shelby County. The program is not available to the following individuals:

  • temporary or seasonal employees, interns and co-ops
  • contract employees (individuals hired by an outside agency to provide services to state agencies including 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?

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 June 30, 2015. It is unknown if this benefit will continue after those contracts end, although it is TDOT’s hope that the program will continue.

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 who 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 for those who 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 Murfreesboro and Nashville, Gallatin and Nashville, and Spring Hill and Nashville. Please see the RTA website for details on routes.

Who do I contact if I have questions regarding the Smart Commute Swipe N Ride program for Tennessee state employees?

Each agency should have a Swipe N 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 Transportation Resources Division, Smart Commute Swipe N Ride program at (615) 253-1028 or

Where can I find route information?

Services are only available for the routes currently on the transit schedules.

Does this service cover people with special needs?

Yes. For riders with disabilities, Nashville MTA AccessRide and MATA MATAPlus offers door-to-door services for those who qualify. The services are covered under the Swipe N Ride program, but employees 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 N Ride card separately through your HR contact.

What if my Swipe N 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 can contact the TDOT Program Administrator by email at, by phone at (615) 253-1028, or in person at James K. Polk Building, 505 Deaderick Street, Suite 1800.

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 N Ride card?

For the Memphis Area program, typical processing can take around two (2) weeks from the time TDOT receives your application. For the Nashville area program, processing takes around two (2) weeks.

How do I pick up my Swipe N Ride card?

For Memphis area employees: When the employee is notified that the 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 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. (Trolley service is available from points downtown to the terminal.) Employees should be prepared to meet the following requirements.

  • Visit 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 TDOT 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 Swipe N Ride contact in your agency's Human Resources Office. For transfers within or between state agencies, you must notify your agency Swipe N Ride/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 must be returned to TDOT.

What are the rules of usage for the Smart Commute Swipe N Ride program for Tennessee state employee?

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 Swipe N Ride/HR Contact.
  • All name changes and employees transferring to other state agencies must notify their agency Swipe N Ride/HR contact to report the change to TDOT.
  • If an employee chooses to ride the bus 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 one (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 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 Resources Office Program Administrator who will send the application and fee to TDOT for processing.

  • For Memphis: An $8.00 replacement fee (check or money order only) made out to “Memphis Area Transit Authority.”
  • For Nashville: A $10.00 replacement fee (check or money order only) made out to “Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority."
Are the transit services participating in Swipe-and-Ride accessible to people with disabilities?

Yes. RTA, MTA, and MATA operate wheelchair-accessible vehicles and comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Complementary paratransit service is available for fixed route urban service provided by MTA and MATA. Information about accessibility is available on the website of each transit agency.