What is a Navigator?
CDTA's Navigator is your passport to exploring the Capital Region! Our new secure, reloadable smart cards are making transit smarter, faster and better than ever! The new cards last longer and provide more benefits!
Common questions about Navigator that will help you out:
Why should I switch to a Navigator card?
- More Convenience – Navigator allows you to load products online anytime, over the phone, or by visiting our retail network. Customers can set up autoload on their account to ensure uninterrupted service.
- More Security – When registered, your Navigator balance is protected if the card or mobile device is lost or stolen.
- Daily Cap (Best Fare) – Pay As You Go automatically charges the “best fare” ($1.30), so you never pay more than the cost of a day pass ($3.90).
- More Rewards – Customer loyalty will be rewarded with special offers, discounts, contests, and promotions. The more you ride the more you receive.
- Faster Boarding – Smart cards and mobile tickets will expedite boarding, leading to quicker trips to get you where you need to go
Where can I use a Navigator card?
Navigator smart cards may be used to pay for rides on CDTA buses, including all regular route, BusPlus, and NX commuter service.
- Where do I get a Navigator card?
Where do I get a Half Fare Navigator card?
Half Fare Navigator smart cards can be picked up at the following locations. Customers will be required to bring photo identification, such as a driver’s license and any other required proof of eligibility.
CDTA Customer Service Center (Card issuance, credit and cash sales)
85 Watervliet Avenue, Albany
Monday – Friday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
CDTA Troy Office (Card issuance, no sales)
40 Hoosick Street, Troy
Wednesdays from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Saratoga Springs Train Station – CDTA/Greyhound Office (Card Issuance, credit and cash sales)
26 Station Lane, Saratoga Springs
Monday - Thursday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Schenectady County Department of Social Services (Card Issuance, No Sales)
797 Broadway #301
Schenectady, NY 12305
518-382-8481 x 302
Monday 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and Friday 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm – BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
Can I buy a Navigator card on the bus?
No. You must buy a Navigator card before you board the bus. The cards are available for free by ordering online or stopping by one of the Navigator retail outlets in our route network.
Why should I register my Navigator card?
Customers who create an account and register their card will see the following benefits:
- Ability to activate the Autobuy feature to automatically replenish your card.
- Ensure that the remaining balance on your card is protected if lost or stolen.
- Manage cards for more than one person in your family.
- Access order information and updates.
- Access ridership history reports.
- How do I register my Navigator card?
What fares can I add to my Navigator card?
Two fare products can be loaded onto your Navigator smart card.
- Frequent Rider - Just like the 31-Day Rolling Swiper, this monthly pass is valid for 31 days of unlimited rides from the first day of use for just $65.
- Pay As You Go - It’s like having cash on your card! Each ride will cost $1.30 for first three rides of the day, while the fourth and up are free for the rest of the day. That means that you will never pay more than the cost of a day pass ($3.90). Customers can add as much value as they would like by visiting a retail outlet. Minimum online Pay As You Go purchase value is $10.
If you add both types of fare products to your Navigator card, the farebox will always deduct from your Frequent Rider first. After the Frequent Rider pass has expired, the farebox will deduct from your Pay As You Go balance.
- How do I add fares to my Navigator card?
How do I reload my Navigator card with AutoBuy?
Once you have created a Navigator account, your card may be reloaded automatically with the AutoBuy feature. When your Pay as You Go balance gets low or your Frequent Rider pass is about to expire, AutoBuy will automatically replenish your card so you never have to worry!
How do I check my balance?
You can check your Navigator balance using any of the following methods:
- Online: at www.cdta.org.
- By phone: Call (518) 482-8822. A CDTA Customer Service representative can check the balance on your card.
- In person at any Navigator retail outlet. You can check your balance at any authorized retail outlet that sells CDTA fare cards.
- In person on the bus. When you use your fare card, the remaining balance will appear on the farebox after a fare is deducted.
Can I purchase Navigator fare products on the bus?
No. Navigator card product purchases are not available on the bus.
Can I pay for another person with my Navigator card?
Yes. Customers pay for another person traveling with them by using the Pay As You Go balance on their card. Just notify the driver you will be paying for another person and tap your card when instructed. Each additional ride will cost $1.30 and will not count toward the daily cap.
Does a Navigator card expire?
Yes, full fare Navigator cards expire 10 years from the date issued. You can check the expiration date for your Navigator card using any of the following methods:
- Online: at cdta.org.
- By phone: Call (518) 482-8822. A CDTA Customer Service representative can check the expiration date of your card.
- In person at any Navigator retail outlet. You can check card expiration at any authorized retail outlet that sells CDTA fare cards.
The Half Fare Navigator cards expiration date is printed on the back of the card when it is issued.
Can I still buy a rolling swiper card?
The last day to purchase Swipers and other paper-based passes is December 31, 2017. This includes the onboard sale of Day Passes and Change Cards. On January 1, 2018 Customers will need to purchase fare products on a Navigator smartcard or the mobile ticket application. Customers will no longer be able to purchase Day Passes and Change Cards on the bus.
We will continue to accept existing paper-based passes (including monthly swipers, 10-trips, 3-day passes and change cards) until March 31, 2018. On April 1, 2018 no paper-based passes will be accepted.