During peak times, 200 SMART buses are on the road in metro Detroit.
For many, including college student Vincent Starks, the buses serve as a transportation lifeline.
"I'm headed to school right now, at OCC Orchard Ridge," Starks told 7 Action News as he waited at a bus stop near Providence Hospital in Southfield.
Bus fare is $2.00 and if you're a regular rider, the amount spent can add up quickly.
In the spirit of the holiday season, the SMART team is out this week making merry with random stops to hand out free passes.
"We've got some loyal riders who have stuck with us through thick and thin and good weather, bad weather and this is just a small gift to say thank you," said Beth Gibbons, marketing and communications manager for the regional bus system.
It's a welcome gesture, according to Starks.
"I feel it would help a lot of people out here that's struggling with just catching a bus, sometimes people don't have no money," he said.
During a stop at the Royal Oak station on Tuesday, passengers were surprised when handed the envelope containing the gift from SMART.
"I like this, this is beautiful," said Greg Rowe, who rides the bus daily to his job in Troy.
"We have free round trips for some people and we also have some 31-day, monthly bus passes so that gives them an unlimited ride for 31 days," Gibbons said.
SMART buses carry approximately 33,000 passengers each day.