Commuters who take buses to the city from the outskirts of Los Angeles County and riders who get around the city via DASH buses will now be able to present the same "smart card" pass as used for county buses, light rail and subways, it was announced today.
The city Department of Transportation joined a consortium of transportation agencies that use the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Transit Access Pass, better known as a TAP card.
Riders on all LADOT transit will now be able to use a TAP card to pay their fares. The department will eliminate paper passes and trip tickets later this year.
The city's decision to join the Regional Smart Card Consortium means that riders will be able to transfer from regional to local transit and vice versa more seamlessly and without having to use cash.
"LADOT's embrace of the TAP card on DASH and Community Express routes is a major milestone in the roll-out of the TAP system in Los Angeles County," Metro board Chair and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. "The regional smart card system will give LADOT's 28 million riders a new option for paying their fares, making it possible for riders to board more quickly, resulting in faster travel times."
All 310 LADOT Commuter Express and DASH service busses have been equipped with TAP card readers. The department will phase in the program.
About 80 percent of the $3.1 million cost of installing the TAP software and equipment came from a Federal Transit Administration grant. The remaining 20 percent is funded by sales tax revenue reserved for transportation, according to the mayor's office.
"Part of expanding and improving our public transportation lines throughout the region is making sure the riders' boarding experience is efficient and hassle-free," said City Councilman and Metro board member Jose Huizar.
"TAP cards are easily accessible and can be purchased online or at over 500 regional sales outlets, including the LADOT Transit Store, and will most certainly make it easier for customers to utilize our DASH line service," he said.
Metro is scheduled this week to begin phasing out paper tickets on all of its Red and Purple Line subways, a transition expected to be finished by this winter.