Long Beach Transit Introduces TAP System, No Longer Accepts Pennies

Oh, praise the Transit Gods: Long Beach Transit (LBT) will officially move itself to the TAP Fare Payment System (TAP) while ridding itself of accepting pennies.

Come February 8, transit users can load money onto a card that—exactly like Metro—the user simply passes by a reader and hops on. All other forms of cash, including all coins except pennies, will continue to be accepted while paper day passes and paper 5-day passes will also continue to be sold. This also means that users will no longer have to switch currencies, so to speak, when switching between LBT and Metro.

“Customers just need have to have the appropriate pass for each agency on their TAP card or a regional EZ pass on their card and then they can move along TAP-enabled systems with just the one card,” said Kevin Lee of LBT. “Another scenario for someone who mainly uses LBT but sometimes gets on Mateo would be for them to put an LBT pass in their TAP card along with Stored Value (cash). When they use TAP on LBT it will accept the pass and when they hop on Metro it will deduct the cash.”

This is cool stuff.

LBT paper passes purchased before the February 8 mark will be honored.

Of note, per LBT:

Amtrak: Amtrak buses will have better connectivity to Long Beach Transit buses and other regional providers in downtown Long Beach. Amtrak buses will pick up customers on the First Street Transit Gallery at Shelter “A” on 1st Street between Pine Avenue and Long Beach Boulevard. Amtrak will no longer serve the bus stop on 6th Street and Long Beach Blvd. For schedule and ticket information call 1-800-USA-RAIL, (800) 872-7245, or visit www.amtrak.com.

Route 1: One earlier inbound trip will be added on weekdays to better serve customers. There will also be minor schedule adjustments.

Route 45: The west end loop has been rerouted due to construction work permanently requiring the removal of the bus stop on northeast corner of Anaheim Street at Santa Fe Avenue. The bus will travel north on Santa Fe from Anaheim, west on 16th Street, south on Cota Avenue, east on Cowles Street, and south on Santa Fe to continue inbound trip. The new stop (#0104) will be located on Santa Fe north of Anaheim. The stop will also serve routes 191 and 192.

Route 96 ZAP: Service will end approximately one hour later to help meet customer demand.

Route 101: The last eastbound weekday trip will depart 10 minutes later to better serve students at LBCC. One additional eastbound trip will be added to improve service during peak morning travel time.

Route 171: Increased service will be added to the route on weekdays to improve service. Route will be extended to PCH at Studebaker on Saturday to help meet customer demand.

Route 191: An earlier weekday outbound 191 trip will be added leaving the Transit Gallery at 5:15 am to help meet customer demand.

Routes 21, 22, 51, 52, 61, 71, 72, 81, 91, 92, 93, 94, 96 ZAP, 111, 112, 121, 131,151, 171, 172, 173, 174, 176 ZAP, 181, 182, 191 and 192: Schedule adjustments will be implemented to improve service.

Passport: The Passport continues to be on detour due to the Pine Avenue Improvement Project by the City of Long Beach (www.downtownlongbeach.org/pineavenueimprovementproject). The current detour has the Passport traveling along Pacific Ave. and Long Beach Blvd. instead of Pine Ave. north of Ocean. The bus stops on Pine between 1st St. and Ocean will be closed during the detour. For northbound trips, customers should use the stop on Pacific at Ocean. For southbound trips, customers should use the temporary stop on the south side of Ocean at Pacific. This detour can change at any time.

Time Points: Please note that some time points have changed to improve service.

Safe riding, Transiters.

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Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 16 nominations and two additional wins for Best Political Commentary for his work at KCET and Best Blog for Longbeachize, a section of the Long Beach Post. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.