Discover LA by Metro:
TAP Is Your Ticket to Ride
The Los Angeles Metro system uses a plastic card containing a computer chip — TAP (Transit Access Pass) Card — for all fares on the light rail/subway and buses.
Each person needs a TAP Card — no sharing. The only exception: two children under 5 years old may ride for free when accompanied by a paying adult.
For each train (and/or bus) you ride, you must tap your TAP Card on a validator. Transfers between lines are free for up to two hours on a one-way journey. TAP Cards can be loaded with single fares, dollar amounts, or pass fares.
All Metro ticket vending machines dispense TAP Cards for $1.00 in addition to the fare or pass loaded on them at the time of purchase. Once you have a TAP Card, it can be reloaded at any Metro ticket machine.
The automated ticket machines are easy to use and give step-by-step instructions in several languages. The Help button activates in-depth instructions.
How to Buy Your TAP Card and Load Your Fare:
If you don’t have a TAP Card:
• To buy a new TAP Card, press the silver button on the machine for Option A — Purchase new TAP Card + Fare.
When you already have a TAP Card:
• To load a fare or cash value onto your TAP Card, press button G.
• To check the stored balance on your TAP Card, press button H.
Select Your Fare:
Payment can be made using cash, credit cards, or debit cards. Ticket machines accept $20 and smaller bills and coins. The machines dispense $1 coins instead of bills for change, so you could end up with a lot of coins if you insert a $20 bill.
• Regular one-ride fares are $1.75. It is a one-way fare with free transfers for up to two hours after departure
• The senior (62+) or disabled fare is $.75 during peak hours (5 – 9 am and 3 – 7 pm M – F) and is $.35 non-peak (all other times). ID is required for these fares and must be shown to Metro personnel on request.
• A regular DayPass is $7 and is valid from the first tap until 3 am the following morning.
• A 7 DayPass is $25.
The valid time period for a 7-day or 30-day TAP Pass begins on its first use.
Load Dollar Value for Easy Riding:
Lump-sum dollar amounts can also be added to your TAP Card. When tapped on entry, the amount of a regular fare will be deducted from your balance unless a valid pass is loaded on the card; a pass takes precedence over regular fares. For example, if you have a cash balance on your TAP Card and you buy a DayPass, your cash balance will not be reduced during the day that you use the DayPass.
Tap and Go:
The TAP Card registers if it has been tapped at the entry. Tap your TAP Card for each train you ride. You’ll find the TAP validators on the turnstiles or next to the train platform entry. If you’re changing from the Red/Purple Line to the Expo or Blue Line or vice versa in the 7th/Metro Station, there are TAP validators near the stairs on the Expo/Blue Line level.
Even though you won’t be charged for another fare if you’re traveling one-way for up to two hours, you’ll still need to tap your TAP Card on validators when you transfer.
Metro monitoring personnel have card readers. If you don’t have a valid TAP Card fare, you’ll be socked with up to a hefty $250 fine.
There is no need to tap your card when you leave a station. Metro fares are not distance-based, and the turnstiles are unlocked for exiting riders.
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This website was developed by Liane Enkelis and Garry Margolis, also known as the Metro Duo. Our website LA by Metro and our Facebook page have additional information on the Los Angeles Metro Rail system.
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