The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority is getting ready to roll out its new contactless Transit Access Pass (TAP) which will replace the bus, subway and train passes currently in use now.
The rechargeable TAP cards are to be sold at vending machines across Los Angeles County. Riders will also be able to add money to the cards online. The switch will take effect in January, but cash will still be accepted.
The electronic fare payment system is designed to unify all of Los Angeles County’s transit operators through a single, reusable payment card. The goal is for transit patrons to pay for rides on Metro Rail and buses and local municipal buses with a single, rechargeable card. The region’s Metrolink commuter rail riders can transfer to connecting Metro and local municipal operators using the same TAP card.
Phasing in of TAP cards coincides with implementation of a gating system for Metro Rail. The agency currently relies on a proof of payment system and fare inspectors to ensure that patrons pay their way. Metro estimates that TAP, coupled with the gating system, will help it recoup most of the nearly $5 million lost yearly to fare evasion. New fare gates will free up fare inspection personnel so that there can be more focus on keeping customers and the system safe as they travel on Metro Rail.
TAP is part of an $89 million upgrade of Metro’s obsolete bus fare boxes and Metro Rail ticket vending machines.