Matthew Hetz published an article at CityWatch today with the headline “The TAP card, discouraging mass transit one card at a time.” The article listed several issues that Mr. Hetz has had with TAP.
Here is Metro’s response to Mr. Hetz:
Dear Mr. Hetz:
Thank you for taking the time to evaluate the TAP system. Here are answers to your concerns.
For two plus years there have been signs on buses and trains, web ads on metro.net, as well as 174,000 brochures distributed on the system to alert passengers to check their expiration of their TAP cards. Originally, TAP cards were designed to be good for three years, and there are still three-year cards out there for sale. With improved security we have now opened up the expiration period to ten years so the 3-year cards will eventually be sold and phased out. TAP card expiration can be checked at a TAP Vending Machine, at one of our 500+ vendor locations or a bus fare box. The expiration also displays on the screen when a TAP card is tapped on a gate, station validator or on your web account.
Improving the Website
The website is one of our top-ten high-priority projects. There is definitely need for improvement. Something easy to use like Amazon, is our goal. In the interim we will also be making minor improvements where we can.
TAP not available at my Ralphs
Not all Ralphs sell TAP however over 500 vendors as well as four Metro Customer Centers in LA County sell TAP. Vendors are listed by zip code at TAPTOGO.net and at Metro.net. TAP has the largest vendor network in the country.
Much more after the jump!
TAP Vending Machines
There is improved signage on TAP Vending Machines and nearby which provide step by step instructions with pictures on how to purchase a TAP card and fare. Metro has many fare options: stored value, 1-day pass, 1-ride, 7-day pass, 30-day pass, senior/disabled 1-ride off peak and peak. All are available at the TVM. Unfortunately, with many options does come some complexity. We will be introducing new TVM screens in late summer or early fall that are more intuitive and helpful to the first time user.
Delay in Balance Protection Card Registration
We aware of this problem. Our customers purchase about 100,000 cards each month. This volume may cause delays at times. Occasionally, cards purchased at TAP Vending Machines can take up to a week for the TAP Service Center to input the card numbers into the system. We are working with to improve service.
Mr. Hetz, I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and discuss your concerns in more detail and to hear your suggestions on how we can improve the website and our service. I would also would like to show you our redesign of the TVM screens. Please let me know when you are available after the 19th of August.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
David Sutton, Deputy Executive Officer, TAP