Using Valley Ride Stored Value and 31-Day Local passes to get around Boise

I’m going to explain how to use some of the passes, instead of cash, on Valley Ride, Boise’s bus system. Even if you only try commuting for a week or so, these save you around 20%. You can get them at WinCo, Boise City Hall, or a few other locations.

The Stored Value Pass ($10 or $20, the 20%-off option)

These passes are discounted fare. They’re $10 for a $12 equivalent to bills/change at the fare box. They don’t expire as far as I can tell. I had one in my wallet for years before I used it for the first time. (I’m glad I finally did!)

When the driver’s in the bus, board and insert the pass, stylish-arrow-end down, into the slot on the fare box. Tell the driver you want 1-way ($1.) The card pops back out with the remaining balance printed on the back. There are increments other than $1 (that perhaps commenters can explain) but $1 will take you anywhere the route you’re on goes.

Ready for a bigger investment?

The 31-Day Local Pass ($36, the probably cheaper than any monthly parking, never mind gas and insurance, option)

This pass looks just like the stored value pass:

A universal 31 day pass for Valley Ride

The first time you use this you insert it through the top slot, just like the stored value pass. This sets its expiration date to 31 days in the future and prints a reminder on the back of the card:

Back of 31 day pass showing expiration

From now on it can be swiped through the diagonal slot on the back of the fare box any time you board. You don’t have to wait around for the driver on this one. Get on or off the Boise routes as you like; this one’s unlimited local!