TAP cards can now be used on Long Beach Transit

photo_regular-serviceThe TAP network continues to grow as Long Beach Transit today becomes the latest agency to join as a fully TAP-enabled bus fleet.

Long Beach Transit riders now have the choice to pay their fare with TAP cards instead of paper passes or cash. A rider simply taps the card against a TAP mobile validator while boarding, listens for the beep and watches for the green screen that shows that the card is valid.

Riders can purchase Long Beach regular, senior/disabled, student, stored value or EZ transit passes at taptogo.net, at the Transit & Visitor Information Center in downtown Long Beach and at select TAP pass sales outlets. Here is the announcement on Long Beach Transit’s website.

Stored value can be purchased at any Metro Rail station TAP vending machine. Fourteen addition transit agencies are set to join TAP this year including the city bus fleets in Glendale, Pasadena and Santa Monica.

Current TAP partners include Access Services, Antelope Valley, Culver City, Foothill, Gardena, Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Metro, Montebello, Norwalk, Santa Clarita and Torrance. Metrolink has its own TAP enabled tickets.

With each addition to the TAP network, we get closer to the goal of a seamless, regional transportation network where passengers can transfer easily without digging into their pockets for change when boarding. 

25 replies

    • Hi Estella;

      Yes! The same card can hold both Metro passes and Long Beach Transit passes.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

        • Hi Amy;

          Yes, you can load LBT passes on your TAP card!

          Steve Hymon
          Editor, The Source

          • Just to be clear, I would have to separately load LBT fair onto my TAP card in addition to my Metro annual full fair provided by my place of employment?

          • Hi Amy;

            That’s right. You load the LBT fare separately.

            Steve Hymon
            Editor, The Source

    • Hi Estella,

      Yes, the TAP card you use for Metro can now be used on Long Beach Transit buses. However, you will need to load cash fare or an EZ Pass on the card. Metro passes are only good on Metro Bus and Rail.


      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

  1. How much is bus driver training costing taxpayers? How many bus drivers are there including Metro and all the municipal transit agencies in the entire LA County region? Do they have to take a refresher course every few years so they remember?

    And what’s the ONE TIME cost of upgrading the TAP system to do this automatically?

    It’s cheaper in the long run to just let the system do it automatically. It can’t come soon enough. And it shouldn’t take eons to do this either.

    Sure, TAP guys maybe “working on it” but without a clear cut deadline, anyone can say that. Oh yeah, I’m working on my post-retirement law degree too. I expect to get it done when I retire in 50 years.

  2. Phil J. I will say all of the Culver CityBus drivers I have met know how to do it. It’s a smaller staff and they are easier to train. I hope Long Beach staff is similar in that way. I agree is should be a seamless transaction and I believe it’s in the works if reports from the TAP Group are the be believed. But for now, we’ll all have to suck it up and either buy an EZ Pass, go through the pain of loading an transfer each time or pay more for the convenience of not having to do that.

  3. Mattapoisett_in_LA

    Sure, that’s one solution, but still a pain in the butt to drag yourself over to the awfully confusing TAP vending machine and navigate it through confusing menus, when it can be done automatically with a simple programming:

    Furthermore, that solution doesn’t work the other way around when you’re going from a municipal transit agency to Metro. How likely and faith do you put into the Long Beach Transit bus drivers know how to properly do a $0.50 deduction from cash value when that person will be transferring over to Metro?

    I agree with the sentiment with TAP sucks that TAP really needs to get their act together. Automate everything. There’s a reason why these things are called smart cards. Why oh why are we still relying on bus drivers “training” to do these things when all it takes is a simple programming?

    1. TAP in on Metro
    2. TAP in on municipal transit bus
    3. TAP system sees that the previous ride was on Metro
    4. Deducts only $0.35

    Is this thing so hard to do? Really?

  4. TAP sucks. The website is so confusing to use and its customer service sucks big time. The website was supposed to be upgraded to be more user friendly by the end of last year, and nothing has happened yet.

    It can’t do what every other contactless transit systems does like automated fare caps, automated transfer fare deduction, full compatibility with different fare systems like Metrolink, cash value balance only used for transit and nothing else, no discounted fares to encourage people to move to TAP, etc. etc.

    For a city that touts itself as a technological leader, the TAP system is just pitiful.

  5. For those looking to transfer with TAP. On the Metro Rail side go to the Ticket/Tap Vending Machines. Select add Metro to Muni Transfer and load it on your TAP card that way. When you get the Culver city Bus or Long Beach transit validator, tap and it will use the transfer and not take the full fare. The real problem for now is most Bus Drivers do not know how to do this on their TAP Devices and dealing with it can be a nightmare.

  6. Gee what a surprise. It’s 2014 and I still I have to tell the bus driver what to do instead of the system working things automatically and pray that the bus driver is able to do it properly.

    Have you guys ever visited Hong Kong? I have zero need for bus driver interaction. I just hop on, tag my Octopus Card, and be done with it. Everything is done automatically, all the fares and transfers are calculated automatically when I ride the bus, all the fares are deducted automatically based on distance traveled when I ride the subway.

    Why does it take forever to get things done right here?

  7. In response to:
    And will it know to properly deduct only $0.35 when going from Metro to LB Transit and only deduct $0.50 when going from LB Transit to Metro?

    Answer: NO! I tried yesterday going from Blue Line to LB Bus and was charged full fare. Today I went from LB Bus onto Blue Line and again charged full fare.

    Metro whats the point of having a completely digital fare system when you cant even link up something as simple as a transfer? Complete fail! Between this and your archaic web site I say you’ve still got a lot of work to do and should have been a priority before the expansion. No incentive for me to use TAP in the new market when it cost me more money.

  8. HKer,

    TAP does not have that capability. When you transfer from Culver City Bus to another Culver City Bus, you need to tell the bus driver (yes, the horror of actually telling someone how to do this MANUALLY in the year 2014!) to deduct another 25 cents for the transfer. Most of the time they have no clue how to do it so they give you the transfer for free.

    Going from Culver City Bus to Metro, the transfer is 40 cents. They don’t know how to do that either. And TAP isn’t programmed to do it either. So you end up paying $1.00 for the Culver City Bus and $1.50 for Metro, a total of $2.50, when it should only deduct $1.40.

    Going from Metro to Culver City Bus, the transfer fare Metro-to-Muni should only be 35 cents. Last time I checked, Metro does not have the capability to do that either when transferring from the Expo Line to the Culver City Bus. Instead of the total deducted being $1.85, the cost is $2.50.

    And yes, it’s really stupid that going to/from Culver City Bus-to-Metro and Metro-to-Culver City Bus, in the opposite direction is differen between $1.40 in the former and $1.85 on the latter.

  9. When will the TAP website be revamped? It’s been a priority for how many years, and it’s still the same awful website that does not work. This is complete incompetence.

  10. Good point made. You lose the ability to get the discount for transferring.

  11. @HKer it will. programming for that is not too difficult. BART in SF has that for when riders go from MUNI to BART and vise versa.

  12. And will it know to properly deduct only $0.35 when going from Metro to LB Transit and only deduct $0.50 when going from LB Transit to Metro?

    • You still have to buy the transfer and put it on your card. Metro is working on getting this done so that it happens automatically, but it’s not there yet.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source