Metro to release phone app for TAP cards, creating multi-modal trips

Praise the Transit Gods: Metro Los Angeles is working on a phone app that will act as transit-goers’ means of boarding and collecting funds to transit—without the need for a physical card—while the use of tokens on all Metro services will end Nov. 29.

Set to be more formally discussed at its upcoming Oct. 10 meeting, Metro is working on integrating TAP accounts with singular “TAP Wallets.” With your account linked to your TAP Wallet, everything from payments for Metro Bike Share to Microtransit and fare subsidy programs to parking will all be linked.

Once you have a TAP Wallet created, you can link it to the eventual TAP app that will:

  • Allow the user to access trip tools that use geo-location in order to plan multimodal trips
  • Create a virtual TAP card lives on your phone
  • Allow the user to access full transaction history
  • Program information & links to sign up
  • Mobile flash/barcode for special event ticketing

For those not wishing to add a credit or debit card to their phone’s application in order to load their TAP card with money, PayNearMe will allow customers to load the TAP Wallet with cash at up to 2,000 convenience stores.

While sales for Metro tokens ended in May of this year, the agency will continue to accept tokens as a means of payment until Nov. 29; following that, all Metro users will be required to have a TAP card.

TAP cards will also be for sale as gift cards at supermarkets, with a soft launch at nearly every supermarket in the region by the fall of next year.

(Fun fact: the LAX Flyaway Shuttle also accepts TAP cards—and you’ll receive a dollar off your fare if you use it.)

TAP cards can be purchased and loaded with value at Long Beach Transit’s Transit and Visitor Information Center on the southeast corner of First Street and Pine Avenue or any vendor selling TAP products.

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Brian Addison has been a writer, editor and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food to politics to urban transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 12 nominations and an additional win for Best Political Commentary. Born in Big Bear, he has lived in Long Beach since college. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.
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