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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): GABS GOLD CARD (Smartcards)


Can I still use cash?

Yes, you can pay cash fare on all Golden Arrow buses. If possible please try to have the correct change or as close as possible as drivers only carry a small float for safety reasons.


What should I look out for on my ticket?

Please check the date, route and price on your ticket


What do I do if I think I have been charged incorrectly?

Please retain your ticket and send an email to


I did not receive a cash ticket but I paid for my ride – what should I do?

Your cash ticket is your proof of purchase and the driver must issue you with one when boarding a bus – if the driver does not issue you with a ticket please request one. If you still do not receive a ticket please call 0800 656463 or send an email to Please note the time, bus number and fare you paid.


What is the difference between peak and off peak fares?

Cash fares differ according to the time at which you travel. Peak period starts at 16:00 and ends at 08:00. Off peak starts at 08:00 and ends at 16:00. The fare collection system switches fares automatically  - if you have any concerns in this regard please retain your ticket and call 0800 656463 or send an email to




Where do I get a GABS Gold card?

GABS Gold cards can be obtained from the same points at which clipcards were previously purchased.

Where do I load my card?

You can load products onto your card at any GABS approved sales agent or sales point. Please visit our website or call 0800 656463 for your nearest sales point.

What will I be loading on my card?

You will be loading travel products which have a fixed number of rides and an expiry date. Please always note the expiry date as extensions and refunds will not be possible.


How do I load my card?

It is very simple. All you need to do is present your card at a Golden Arrow sales point and request the product of your choice. The sales agent will then load the product onto the card and you will receive a receipt as proof of payment.


How do I know if I have received the correct product and paid the correct price?

You will receive a receipt after each purchase. Each time you use the card you will also receive a slip which shows the status of your packages. If you are unsure of which product to purchase please ask an official or call 0800 65 64 63 as no refunds will be given for incorrectly purchased products.


How do I use the card?

When boarding a bus you simply tap your card onto the card reader at the entrance of the bus – a green light will indicate that your card has valid products available and you will be able to board.


Does my card have an expiry date?

No, your card itself does not have an expiry date but the products that you load on the card do. Please always take note of these dates as your products will not be valid thereafter.


How long are my trips valid for?

Weekly packages are valid for 14 days and comprise 10 rides. Monthly packages are valid for 37 days and have 48 rides.


Can I get extensions on my card if I have unused rides?

No extensions, exchanges or refunds will be possible. Please take note of this when purchasing a product.


Do I need to register my card?

It is not compulsory to register your card but if you are able to we would suggest registering your card via This registration option is free of charge and by signing up you will be first in line to hear about future launches and product updates. Please take of note the unique number on your card. This unique number must be provided when entering into correspondence with the Company.


What do I do if my card gets stolen?

Your card has a unique number on it – this can be used to block a stolen card and to track any packages or value that was on the card. Please report your stolen card to immediately and quote your cards unique number as a reference. Without this number the card cannot be blocked. Replacement cards can be purchased for R25.


What do I do if my card gets lost or damaged?

Please send an email with your card’s unique number to immediately so that the card can be blocked. Replacement cards can be purchased for R25 and remaining rides will be credited based on set criteria.


How many cards am I allowed to have?

You are allowed to have multiple cards but there is no need as up to three different products can be stored on a single card. During the roll-out period you will receive a Gold Card when purchasing a travel product. After this period is over, cards will cost R25.


Can I load cash on the card?

No, the card is not linked to any banks or financial institutions; it can only be used to load and store GABS travel products and packages. 


What is a transfer?

Certain routes require passengers to disembark from one bus and to board another in order to reach their destination. This is known as a transfer.


How do transfers work?

Certain products/ routes have built in transfers – this means that you will need to disembark from one bus and board another in order to reach your destination. For your convenience there is a two-hour period in which transfers are allowed.


How many products can I load on my card?

You can load up to three different products on your Gold card.


Can I change the products I purchased, if I change jobs and work in a different area?

No refunds, exchanges or extensions will be possible. If you are changing jobs or workplaces and need to travel to different locations please purchase a Go Card, which can be used for travel on any Golden Arrow route except for buses operating to and from Atlantis, Dassenberg, Mamre / Pella, Malmesbury, Darling, Koeberg Power Station and Melkbosstrand.


I need to travel to various destinations. Which product should I purchase?

A weekly or monthly Go Card can be used for travel on any Golden Arrow route except for buses operating to and from Atlantis, Dassenberg, Mamre / Pella, Malmesbury, Darling, Koeberg Power Station and Melkbosstrand.


Can I still use my clipcard?

There will be a window period during the transition from clipcards to Gold Cards but once this period has ended clipcards will no longer be accepted.


Can I pay with my debit card, via EFT or using my cellphone?

At this stage payment is limited to cash but we will be exploring other payment options for possible future implementation.


Can I pay for other things with my card?

The Gold Card is not a chipped banking card so you will only be able to use it to load GABS travel products and packages.


Can I withdraw money from my card?

The Gold Card is not a chipped banking card so you will not be able to use it like an ATM card.


Can I use the GABS Gold card on MyCiTi and Metrorail?

No, the Gold Card is only for use on GABS buses at this time.


Do children need a card of their own?

Yes, they do if they are making use of a travel package or product.


Are there discounted fares for scholars?

All travel packages loaded onto the card are already discounted. There are no additional discounts for scholars.


Are there discounted fares for pensioners?

A discounted pensioner’s clipcard is available for passengers over 60 years of age and is valid for 10 rides. This clipcard must be used within 60 days of purchase date and can only be used between 08:00 and 16:00 on weekdays and all day on weekends and public holidays. To qualify, the pensioner must be in possession of a special pensioner’s photo pass. This pass can be obtained from our Tollgate depot, 183 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10:00 and 11:00. Queries should be directed to 021 466 7000.

All seniors’ passes are done there for administrative reasons but the photo pass does not have an expiry date. Pensioners will then need to show the bus pass whenever they purchase their discounted clipcards.


Can I share my card with other people?

No, each passenger must have their own card. The card reader will not validate a card which has just been used.


Who can I speak to if I need more information?

For any Gold Card related queries please email or call 0800 65 64 63.