Photo: Connect Transit Card

Public transit riders in the greater Sacramento area can now use a single "smart" card to pay fares among nine participating agencies.

The Connect Transit Card was soft launched regionwide on Wednesday, after the Sacramento Regional Transit District became the first adopter in November.

The system — which uses a plastic smart card with an embedded computer chip inside that can store cash value, passes and discount fares  can now be used on Regional Transit, e-tran, El Dorado Transit, Folsom Stage Line, Placer County Transit, Roseville Transit, South County Transit Link, Yolobus and Yuba-Sutter Transit.

The card is valid for travel on buses and Regional Transit light rail trains. Users can simply tap their fare card at a card reader to pay before boarding. The fare cards can be reloaded online, at kiosks or via participating retailers.

"The region paid for the card system using available federal and state funds. The process has been and is currently managed by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), a regional planning agency, in coordination with all nine participating transit agencies," the Connect Card website says.

This short video explains the system's features. More information also is available at