Transit Access Pass

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Transit Access Pass (TAP) is a smart card fare-payment system for LA County. As a smart card system, TAP cards are capable to store e-cash (stored transit value) and passes depending on agency. A TAP card is required to board LA Metro Rail (all trips) and is required to hold any pass for LA Metro.

TAP web site

TAP card is accepted by the following agencies. Some offer passes for the card and others only accept stored values for now:

EZ Transit Pass is now available on TAP as well. A monthly sticker will be also placed on the card for agencies that currently do not accept TAP but are part of the EZ Transit Pass program.

Card features

  • Riders can use the same card to transfer between different operators
  • Riders can purchase passes online.
  • By registering the card, a rider can recover the pass or value in case of the card is loss or stolen. $5 replacement fee is required.

Card drawbacks

  • Card costs $2
  • Two people cannot use the same card
  • If the card is not working (not the reader), the rider must pay cash fare
  • Stored transit value (e-cash) is not universally accepted and can only be added at selected transit offices.
  • Requires riders to tap the card at the faregate or reader when boarding Metro Rail each time (and whenever they transfer between lines), even if they already have a valid pass. Failure to do so is subject to citation.

Where to get cards

TAP card costs $2 ($1 from ticket machines).

Senior/Disabled cards

For seniors and the disabled, a special card is required to purchase discounted passes. Senior and disabled cards can be obtained by mail by submitting an application and at any Metro customer service center.

Other TAP cards

Special TAP cards are available to college/vocational school students to load the discounted 30-day passes. Applications are available at participating schools and at Metro customer service centers. The application can be submitted by mail or in person at any Metro customer service center.

Special TAP cards for K-12 students are available to load discounted passes and fares. Submit a completed application to a Metro customer service center.

How to add pass

Regardless of where you get the card, you can always add value to your card through:

  • Online
  • Retail locations
  • Los Angeles Metro ticket machines at all Metro Rail and Orange line stations - only add cash values and LA Metro passes.
  • Onboard LA Metro buses - Metro Day pass only. Ask driver that you want to buy a day pass, put money in, and tap the card on the reader once driver says it is ready.

If you choose to add value through the web site, it would take up to 48 hours for the values to show up on the reader.

How to pay with the card

Simply tap the card on the TAP reader onboard buses or at stations and hold it for a beep.

TAP news from The Source