After introducing TAP wristbands two years ago in small side project, Metro Los Angeles is moving forward with releasing its onslaught of TAP “wearables” that include various wristbands and keychains, allowing transiters to avoid having to pull out their wallets and use a TAP card.

Metro will introduce TAP Stretch, a stretch wristband; TAP Mini, a small keychain; and TAP Flex, a flexible, FitBit-like wristband through a pilot project that launches Aug. 1.

Additionally, Metro will finally debut a new TAP smartphone app that will integrate trip planning and transit fare payment come this winter. It will allow patrons to load value onto TAP cards or wearables from their phone, as well as integrate low-income fare subsidies and discounts for students, seniors, and riders with disabilities. Additionally, as with current TAP cards, the app will allow TAP value to be added to the LAX Flyaway shuttle as well as rent one of the bicycles available through Metro’s bike share program.

Perhaps even more exciting, phone users’ actual phone can act as their TAP card: One will simply swipe their phone, just like a TAP card itself, to garner access to Metro’s services. Metro is in the midst of upgrading all their fare boxes to accommodate the new technology.

Additionally, beginning later this month, Metro has partnered with both 7-Eleven and CVS chain stores to TAP card kiosks which customers can use to purchase cards to expand access. As of now, Metro vending machines and a handful of local stores are the only places where one can score a TAP card.

Metro Customer Centers are located at:

Union Station/Gateway Transit Center – East Portal 

  • One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012
  • Open Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Center 

  • 3650 W. Martin Luther King Blvd., Ste 189, Los Angeles, CA 90008
  • Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

East Los Angeles Center 

  • 4501 B Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90022
  • Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Wilshire/Vermont Center 

  • 3183 Wilshire Blvd, Ste 174, Los Angeles, CA 90010
  • Open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Brian Addison is a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or on social media at FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn.