New fare charts and FAQ on the fare increases and changes that begin Sept. 15

As many of you likely know, Metro’s fare increases and fare changes that were approved this spring go into effect on September 15.

The charts below outline the new fares, including regular fares and passes, Silver Lane fares and the EZ Pass. I urge everyone to give this a read before Sept. 15 as the new structure — with free transfers for two hours — means that some of you could save on your Metro transit trips while others will be seeing an increase.

I also want to emphasize: please click here to see if you are eligible for Metro’s “Rider Relief” fares that provide up to a $10 discount on transit passes. The Rider Relief coupons for seniors and students provide savings on top of already reduced rates. Eligibility is determined by household income and the number of occupants in a household.

Please, please, please — check to see if you are eligible for a discount. There’s no point in paying more than you should and these discounts are available to enhance everyone’s mobility in our region. If you know of someone who may qualify, please pass along this information!


There is also more information on this page about Metro’s reduced fares, including discounts for students, seniors, the disabled and Medicare recipients.

Here are the new fares that take effect Sept. 15:

fares_English (1)

There is also a comprehensive FAQ that has been posted to Please click here to see the entire FAQ.

I have posted some of the questions and answers below that I think will answer many of the questions we’ve been fielding here from readers:

What is the difference between a 1-ride base fare and a 1-way trip?

Both are single fares used to board a Metro Bus. The “1-Ride Base Fare” indicates that the fare is being paid in cash or with a token; no TAP card is required, and no transfers are included. The “1-Way Trip” indicates that the fare is being paid using a TAP card preloaded with a 1-Way Trip product (available at TAP vending machines) or Stored Value on a TAP card. The 1-Way Trip includes transfers to other connecting Metro bus or rail lines for up to two hours to complete a one-way trip; it is not valid for a round-trip. Note that the 1-Ride Base Fare is not available on Metro Rail or the Metro Orange Line; payment of all fares on those lines requires use of a TAP card. (See description of TAP cards below.)

Who is eligible for two hours of free transfers?

Customers are eligible for transfers when enough Stored Value is preloaded on a TAP card and used to pay the applicable 1-Way Trip fare. The 1-Way Trip is available at varying rates to: regular blue TAP card holders; Seniors 62+/Disabled/ Medicare TAP card holders; Students K-12  TAP card holders; and College/Vocational TAP card holders.

How will the free transfers work?

The two-hour period begins upon the first boarding of a trip, when a TAP card is tapped to pay the 1-Way Fare.  The customer must tap their card upon each subsequent boarding during the trip; the TAP system will recognize if the customer is within the two-hour transfer window and is making a valid transfer covered by the 1-Way Trip.

The number of transfers within the two-hour window is not limited; as an example, a customer could transfer from bus line 20 to the Red Line to the Blue Line to the Green Line, all with payment of a 1-Way Trip, as long as the last transfer occurs within two hours of the first tap.

But transfers back to the same bus or rail line where the customer’s TAP card was last used are not permitted. For example,  the customer may not,  transfer from the Green Line back to the Green Line, or from bus line 20 back to Line 20; a new 1-Way Fare would be deducted from the Stored Value on the card.

As mentioned, trips lasting longer than two hours can be made on the 1-Way Trip fare, as long as the last transfer is made before the two-hour transfer window expires.

Are all student fares frozen?

No. Only Student K-12 fares are frozen at this time; their single fare price ($1) and 30-Day Pass ($24) will remain the same. Fares for College/Vocational students are not included in the freeze. The College/Vocational fare (1-Ride Base Fare or 1-Way Trip) is now $1.75, and the 30-Day Pass is now $43.

How will transfers work on Metro short lines?

Customers purchasing a 1-Way Trip receive two hours of transfers to complete a one-way trip. If traveling on a bus short line, transfers will be permitted from the bus short line to another bus on the same line to continue a trip in the same direction.

What about transfers between Metro and other municipal operators (Metro-to-Muni)?

Metro fares do not cover other municipal carriers (e.g. Foothill Transit, Torrance Transit, Montebello Bus Lines, etc.), but Metro-to-Muni transfers will still be available. They can be purchased from TAP vending machines or onboard buses, and are valid for two hours after purchase.


How will interagency transfers work with the new transfer system? 

A customer transferring from other municipal bus carriers (e.g. Foothill Transit, Torrance Transit, Montebello Bus Lines, etc.) will need to purchase an Interagency transfer onboard that line, and submit it as payment when boarding a Metro bus or train.  Interagency transfers can be issued as paper passes, “Limited Use” paper TAP cards, or loaded directly onto the customer’s plastic TAP card.  Regardless of the form in which the Interagency transfer is issued, it is only good for one transfer from a municipal bus line to a Metro bus or train. Interagency transfers are treated as a 1-Ride Base Fare and are not eligible for the 2 hours of transfers on Metro.  Customers boarding with an Interagency transfer and planning to ride more than one Metro bus or train should purchase another Metro fare to avoid getting a citation or fine.

Do the new fares affect the Metrolink monthly pass?

No. These changes only apply to Metro. They do not affect Metrolink tickets and passes that include transfers to Metro.

Please click here to see the entire Q&A, which also includes information about the Silver to Silver program, how to get a TAP card and

Here are the new Silver Line fares: 

Metro Fares
As of 9/15/14
Regular Senior 62+/
Student K-12
Silver Line Cash Fares
1-Ride Base Fare
No transfers included.Additional charges apply to ride:
• Metro Express Buses
$2.50 $1.35
$2.50 $2.50
1-Way Trip
Includes transfers to other Metro Lines for up to two hours to complete a one-way trip.Additional charges apply to ride:
• Metro Express Buses
$2.50 $1.35
$2.50 $2.50
Premium Charge for 7-Day, 30-Day and EZ transit passAll other Metro passes accepted without premium charge. 75¢
Express Freeway Premium Charge
Express + Zone 1
Premium Charge

Additional fare required only on freeway segments.
75¢ 60¢ 75¢ 75¢

And here are the new EZ Pass fares:

Metro Fares
As of 9/15/14
Regular Senior 62+/
Student K-12
EZ transit passIncludes:
•All Metro servicesAdditional charges apply to ride:
• Metro Silver Line
• Metro Express Buses
• Non-Metro express buses
$110 $42
EZ transit pass + Zone 1Includes:
• All Metro servicesAdditional charges apply to ride:
• Non-Metro express buses that leave Los Angeles County
$132 $51.50
EZ transit pass + Zone 2 $154       $61
EZ transit pass + Zone 3 $176 $70.50
EZ transit pass + Zone 4 $198 $80
EZ transit pass + Zone 5 $220 $89.50
EZ transit pass + Zone 6 $242 $99
EZ transit pass + Zone 8 $286 $118
EZ transit pass + Zone 9 $308 $127.50
EZ transit pass + Zone 10 $330 $137
EZ transit pass + Zone 11 $352 $146.50

For more information about ordering an EZ Pass, agencies that participate in the pass and discounts, please click here.


Metro Board votes to raise most fares in September but postpones increases in 2017 and 2020

Some audio and video from public hearing on fare changes


121 replies

  1. Steve,
    I did not find my question addressed in your article or in the FAQ.

    Will my Metro Senior 30-day Pass still be honored as full fare under the Silver 2 Silver program should I choose to board a Foothill Silver Streak?

    Could you please publish something about the impact of the September 15, 2014 Metro fare increase on this program?

    • Hi Dave,

      Checking with the TAP group now and will hopefully have an answer soon. Steve is away this week, but there will definitely be more posts on the fare change coming up.

      ETA: Answer to your question is yes, your Senior 30-Day Pass will be honored as full fare under the Silver 2 Silver program.

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

  2. What benefit is there to the 7 day or 30 day passes for the large majority of us working-class people who need to use the metro only on WEEKDAYS? Also, for those of us on the Silver line, there is still an up charge for these passes, thus rendering them useless. The week/month passes end up being more expensive on the Silver line than just using the 2.50×2 round trip fare. If Metro had a more affordable and logical multi-day use pass, which would allow me to save money in the long run, I’d use it. But as it now stands, I can do no better than pay a daily fare.

  3. the EZ Pass fare hike is heinous. Yeah, free transfers for 2 hours, yada yada, but a lot of us rely on different carriers for commute and travel needs, and a $26 hike? You just killed a lot of us

  4. When the next fare hike happens, they’ll raise it to $2.00 per ride, but they’ll “compromise” by giving free roundtrips.

  5. Only Murica can screw up something like this. All they had to do was visit countries that get transit right and copy their fare system. And they can’t even get that right. No wonder America is fastly becoming a third world country. Well, this country is dumb enough to stick with the imperial system when everyone else is using the metric system so what do you expect.

  6. From reading ALL the comments that are shown so far I think there is one thing Metro can do to make things ‘better.’

    They need to keep moving from being a ‘fare collection agency’ to a ‘transportation provider.’

    I think the addition of transfers is a big move in the right direction. I did not think the current fares were too bad because a ‘Day Pass’ maxed the fare out at $5.

    The new fares are definitely better because of the transfer benefit.

    The one thing that could move Metro to be a better ‘transportation provider’ is to make the transfer work for any ride [extra fare rides excluded] for two hours. Thus round trips and multiple stops in the same direction would be included. The cry that the ‘poor rider’ would have a $3.50 tax on a milk run would thus be vitiated.

    One other thing. Metro seems to be obligated to help its poorest riders. They tend to pay cash fares and thus will not get the tranfer benefit. Perhaps some kind of distribution of TAP cards to the cash riders could encourage their saving of time and money?

  7. I too have to agree with others that Metro made this fare system way too out of hand.

    I agree with others that Metro should’ve just looked at cheaply rated distance based fares instead of trying to make things more easy only to make things more confusing in the end. In Hong Kong, no one cares how much it is to go where because prices are so cheaply rated by the distance. I just fill up my Octopus Card, tap in at the gate, ride the HKMTR anywhere I want to go, tap out at the gate, and it automatically deducts what it’s supposed to.

    I have to laugh at the people who say distance based fares are complicated because they don’t know the price. They obviously never ridden on a distance based fare system because even five year old kids can figure out how to ride the subway system in Hong Kong alone. How hard is it to just fill up the card, tap in, tap out, and let the system do all the work? It’s that simple. You don’t care how much it costs to get somewhere because it’s cheaper that way! Oh did I mention Hong Kong never had a fare increase, ever? And that it actually makes a profit?

    Seriously, you guys need to get out and see the world more. Go get yourself a passport and start visiting other countries and see what other countries’ transits are like. You’ll all be amazed how much better transit is everywhere outside the US and how poor transit is in America. And I say this by knowing how awful the NYC Subway system is, which is supposedly the best you guys can do!

    • “I have to laugh at the people who say distance based fares are complicated because they don’t know the price. They obviously never ridden on a distance based fare system because even five year old kids can figure out how to ride the subway system in Hong Kong alone.”

      I know right? People are making a fool out of themselves when they whine that distance based fares are more complicated. Backpackers and business travelers from all over the world “get it” as soon as they arrive in Hong Kong.

      “Go get yourself a passport and start visiting other countries and see what other countries’ transits are like. You’ll all be amazed how much better transit is everywhere outside the US and how poor transit is in America.”

      Unfortunately, most Americans don’t have passports. For most Americans, going “international” means driving over the border and having a good time at Tijuana. That’s their extent of international travel and they go back home and say “yep, life is good in America, we’re number one! USA! USA! USA!”

      Plus, most Americans are so bad in geography that they can’t even recognize their own state that they live in on an US map!

  8. Tell this to John Hillmer. At todays Gateway Council Meeting [8/14], he said this was not the case. .How will transfers work on Metro short lines?
    Customers purchasing a 1-Way Trip receive two hours of transfers to complete a one-way trip. If traveling on a bus short line, transfers will be permitted from the bus short line to another bus on the same line to continue a trip in the same direction.

  9. Suggestion for you:

    Why don’t you buy a scooter? At your travel usage, they’re cheaper than taking the bus. Stop wasting your money on Metro or monthly passes.

    At $100 a month of the monthly pass rate, you can finance a $1000 scooter that gets 100 MPG easily. If all you do is travel 5 miles, a scooter will only cost you less than 12 bucks in gas PER MONTH.

    Do the math:

    5 miles each way = 10 miles per day of travel

    10 miles per day x 30 days a month = 300 miles of travel per month

    300 miles per month / 100 mpg fuel efficiency of a scooter = 3 gallons of gas per month. 3 gallons of gas is what you’ll use in a month with a 100 MPG scooter.

    Cost of a gallon of gas is about $4.00 per gallon

    $4.00 a gallon x 3 gallons of gas per month = $12 in gas per month

    You’re better off with a scooter. In fact, in order to reach the fuel economy of a scooter, gas prices will have to reach $33 per gallon to match the $100 monthly rate of a bus pass. That’s not going to happen anytime soon.

    If you can afford a computer to type here, you can easily finance a $1000 scooter. Your choice. Keep paying $100 a month to Metro, or get a financing of a $1000 scooter which will be paid off in less than a year which will enable you to travel around for less than $12 in gas a month.

    • well there is a slight problem with the math there – ya cant fit a grocery trip on a scooter…… 1 gal milk a loaf of bread – would be ok ….any more would get “a bit tricky”……

  10. I’ve been reading many of the comments about how “complicated” Metro’s new fare structure is. I simply believe that free transfers will not only change the way Angelenos save money using Los Angeles’s bus and rail network, but also save time on LA transit riders’ commutes. When NYC Transit introduced free bus-to-subway and subway-to-bus transfers in 1999, ridership jumped significantly. Even with the seemingly annual fare hikes, we New Yorkers are using the subways and buses in record numbers. I predict the same significant increase in transit patronage for Los Angeles.

    • “I simply believe that free transfers will not only change the way Angelenos save money using Los Angeles’s bus and rail network”

      How is forcing those in poverty, those who are the most reliant on public transit, save money when they are now forced to pay $1.75 EACH WAY just to go buy groceries at their neighborhood supermarket less than 5 miles away?!

      It’s like levying $3.50 tax to go buy a gallon of milk!!

      The poor only gets poorer, only the rich who lives in the suburbs win!!

      • Please study and read the transit map! Even a non-Angeleno (like yours truly) will find that there’s more than one way to get from Point A to Point B, and remember, these transfers are UNLIMITED for two hours.

        Example A: There are two ways to travel from Heritage Square to USC (1) Metro 81 bus & (2) three trains–the Gold Line followed by the subway (Red or Purple line) followed by the Expo Line.

        Example B: From Boyle Heights (Soto Station) to East LA Civic Center, two of the largest Latino communities in LA County, one can (1) use Gold Line, (2) Buses 68 and 30, (3) choice of 18 or Metro Rapid 720 followed by choice of 251 or Metro Rapid 751.

        Example C (similar to an earlier itinerary but bears repeating): Koreatown (Wilshire/Western) to Wilshire/Westwood near UCLA–(1) Metro 20 bus, (2) Metro Rapid 720. [Local and Metro Rapid buses are separate bus routes, so even if the bus lines run parallel, they are different bus lines and, therefore, transfers can be used.]

        All I’ve been trying to point out to everyone is that with unlimited transfers, any Los Angeles transit rider can go anywhere for only $1.75 starting September 15.

      • “You can go anywhere in LA for $1.75 with free transfers for two hours”

        Example A: “There are two ways to travel from Heritage Square to USC”

        Example B: “From Boyle Heights (Soto Station) to East LA Civic Center”

        Example C “(similar to an earlier itinerary but bears repeating): Koreatown (Wilshire/Western) to Wilshire/Westwood near UCLA”

        WHAT PART OF THIS DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND!!?? I DO NOT DO THESE TRIPS EVERYDAY OKAY? The vast majority of the people who use public transit don’t use it for long trips like these. They use it for short trips! Unless you can prove otherwise that everyone takes long ride, your examples are MEANINGLESS! OKAY? DRILL THAT DOWN INTO YOUR HEAD!

        I’m talking about SHORT examples WHAT MAJORITY OF TRANSIT DEPENDENT POOR PEOPLE DO EVERYDAY! We use transit to go to the supermarket. The poor now has to pay $1.75 EACH WAY for ONE SHORT RIDE to the neighborhood supermarket! This isn’t going from Koreatwon to UCLA, it’s going less than 5 miles to your neighborhood supermarket! There’s a big difference! And since you can’t do roundtrips, it’s essentially paying $3.50 to get to go buy groceries!

        LA isn’t New York! LA isn’t Chicago. This is a totally different city with totally different needs! Did I ask for a New York style system? No. Do I want a New York style system? No! Don’t force what you’re used to my city! They need to re do this whole thing from the start!!!

  11. I disagree – in the Eurostates it is very difficult to purchase a pass, in fact you cannot buy it at ANY metro/underground machine, what you have to do in London for example is wait in the long queue of 20-30 minutes, then get up and ask the man for an oyster card, pay the £1-2 quid for the card and then you must load a value to the card. The Oyster card is ran by the same company Cubic, Inc. based out of So Cal’s San Diego, they actually do most of the the worlds cards. After you purchase such Oyster Card and load a far then you can pass through the gates in front of you. If you did want to load a 1 month or zones 1-6 then the ticket agent would just load and you would pay for it there. If one was to use the self ticketing mating it is very very confusing, the Metro machos have actually been designed nicely and it’s modern, the tube in london has a user interface from the 1970s and with a complicated fare structure to boot. Off-peak, Peak, Zone 1-2, Zone 2-4 excluding zone 1-2, Zone 1-6, Zo[ne 1-6 + 7,8,9. etc. Bad example.

  12. Is the sticker of an EZ Pass still going to be shipped by USPS after the price of an EZ Pass going up to $110 or is the sticker of an EZ Pass going to be shpped by UPS after the price of an EZ Pass going up to $110? Because I am used to order an EZ Pass through TAP Card Website, and I want to know about the way of an EZ Pass Sticker’s Shipping after the price of an EZ Pass going up to $110 if an EZ Pass was ordered through TAP Card Website.

    • Hi Mike;

      I don’t believe the method of postage will change.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  13. I call for suspending the fare hike and redoing the fare structure all over again. This time, we need to put the idea of distance based fares onto the table.

    • Distance based fares are super confusing. This is why most cities go with zone based fares, which are an approximation to distance-based fares, but much less confusing.

      While a lot of cities use “concentric circle” zones, LA shouldn’t. LA should have neighborhood-based zones. There should be one price for travelling through one or two zones, and higher prices for travelling through more zones than that.

      I’m not sure if the bus system can handle “tap in tap out” though.

      • Nathaneal,

        You need to brush up on your Google skills because all it took me was 0.47 seconds to reach 47,100,000 hits on the search term “distance based fares” on Google.

        “This is why most cities go with zone based fares, which are an approximation to distance-based fares, but much less confusing.”

        So what is Washington DC Metro and BART using? What’s Metrolink using? What’s Amtrak using? Oh yes, those don’t apply. Well let’s see:

        Ever heard of these world class transit oriented cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Busan, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Singapore? It seems they all use distance based fares too, not zonal fares. Doesn’t seem to cause massive confusion for millions of riders who take transit everyday in these cities as they have way better transit systems that put the rest of America to shame.

        “I’m not sure if the bus system can handle “tap in tap out” though.”

        Try again.


        Sydney, Australia:

        Fukuoka, Japan

        Seoul, South Korea
        1. Upon boarding the bus, place a T-money card on the sensor bearing the T-money logo located at the front of the bus until it beeps. The sensor will display the amount charged on the top and the remaining balance at the bottom.
        2. Before getting off the bus, place the T-money card on the sensor located at the back of the bus until it beeps. It will display any additional charges, which are levied by distance traveled, and can now be used for free transfers within a specific time limit.”

        Next time, Google your facts first before making assumption statements.

      • Distance based fares are SUPER CONFUSING. I stand by that statement. It’s all very well for things like Amtrak where you buy your tickets for a specific trip well in advance.

        But on the DC Metro and similar urban rail systems, it basically results in routine overpayment by tourists. Probably the intention.

        I know buses theoretically can handle tap-in-tap-out, what I don’t know is whether *LA METRO’s* buses can handle tap-in tap-out

      • Oh, by the way? Sydney uses zonal fares. I didn’t bother to check your other examples, since the don’t have decent English-language sites. They probably use zonal fares too.

      • Nathanael,

        “I didn’t bother to check your other examples, since the don’t have decent English-language sites. They probably use zonal fares too.”

        Umm, you do realize that Singapore is part of the British Commonwealth much as Australia is and that their official language is English right? And so is Hong Kong. It was a former British colony that was handed over to China in 1997. English is still widely used there too.

        Basically, you just pointed your own bigotry. If the country ain’t white, they ain’t right. And no, both Singapore and Hong Kong uses distance fares, as well as Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.

        How do I know it? Because unlike you who bases his assumptions without nothing to back them up, I’ve been to Hong Kong and Singapore and I know by fact and experience that they don’t use a zonal system.

  14. You guys are missing a huge market – the 5 day a week round trip/single line commuter. $60 and now $70 a month isn’t a deal compared with other options. The station is a mile from my house/ mile from my work, 8 miles down the line, and you send partially a partially filled bus by all the time. I’d fill a seat for say $40 a month. So 1 filled seat for $40 or $0 for a bus you are sending anyway.

    • My thoughts exactly. If your commute is only 9 miles each way, you’re probably better off just driving a car or even bicycling can be an option instead of wasting $100 a month on Metro for a 9 mile commute to work.

      So for the sake of jacking up the fares, Metro just lost a customer. I expect their revenues to actually go down due to this fare hike and confusing transfer system they just enacted.

  15. Anyway, regardless of any of the nitpick in the other various threads, I gotta say, good job Metro for implementing the free transfer. Finally! I no longer have to choose between taking the 704 directly to downtown or deciding to transfer to the red line! It’s a no brainer now.

  16. Looks like someone was drunk when they compiled this new fare chart. Isn’t the point of fares supposed to be simple, straight forward, and easy to understand?

    • How is this not easy to understand? It brings LA Metro fares in line with the situations in Chicago, Boston, and New York, among other cities. They all have transfers, but only on the fare card. No fare card, no transfer. No reuse of the transfer on the same line, generally. There are loopholes and exceptions but no re-boarding of the same bus or train line without payment of an additional fare is a general rule. If you plan on doing many trips in a day, like as a tourist or running errands, go buy yourself a day pass for $7 and don’t worry about all of this.

      The Silver Line is an oddball exception but long term, that fare differential will be phased out. So, too, will the difference between Metro passes and EZ transit passes as the staff report had the Metro regular monthly pass eliminated in three years (now postponed). I am not a Metro cheerleader but I think people are trying to overcomplicate this fare increase significantly.

      • Everything you just said is complicated. If it’s between this whole mess and driving a car, I’m just going back to the car.

      • calwatch,

        Have you ever considered what the “fare system” is for a car driver? The vast majority of the people in LA who drive have only a simple three step rule to get around town:

        1. Fill up gas
        2. Drive until tank nears empty (they don’t “think” how much it costs to get to point B, they keep on driving as much as the gas they put into the tank takes them)
        3. Fill up again

        It’s that simple. Fill up, get around, fill up again, 1-2-and-3. No time limits, no transfer rules, no passes, no exceptions, no ifs and buts, no differences in municipalities, no differences in certain lines, etc.

        And the “fare system” for car drivers is the same all over the US. Fill up gas, drive to empty, fill up again. Same in LA, same in San Diego, same in Denver, same in Miami, same in Seattle, same in Boston.

        Do you expect car drivers to go Metro to get around town with all these rules and restrictions in place when a car is simple as 1-2-3?

      • I agree Calwatch. Except for the Silver Line, it is about as easy to understand as anything you’ll ever see. I am getting a kick out of people say they can’t figure out a free transfer system so they are going to spend $300 a month on their car instead.

        • Hi Matt and Calwatch;

          Thank you and obviously I agree. Bottom line: for those traveling from Point A to Point B there are free transfers for two hours. The one basic rule: no consecutive rides on the same line. That’s it — that’s all most people need to know for their commutes.

          The other thing everyone needs to do: take a look at the fares and decide whether it’s less expensive to use stored value or to purchase a daily/weekly/monthly/EZ pass.

          Steve Hymon
          Editor, The Source

      • I agree that this is too damn complicated.

        If there’s any rationale to this, it is probably intended to prevent tourists from figuring the system out, so that tourists will overpay. Of course, tourists won’t buy day passes because you can’t buy TAP cards at any Metro stations. Which is insane.

        For reference, London sells its equivalent of the TAP cards at every single Tube station.

        Chicago, however, is also run by idiots who have made it very difficult to buy their smartcard. Boston does a little better; at least CharlieCards are buyable at some of the major stations. In New York, at least you can buy your MetroCard at any station, but the machines have been designed to be confusing and unfriendly to visitors.

        What is wrong with major transit systems in this country? San Diego, which caters to tourists, has a straightforward and comprehensible system. Nobody else does.

      • Matt,

        Not everyone spends $300 a month on a car. Some people get by with only $50 a month in gas because they live and work closeby, so car ownership actually comes out cheaper than taking public transit.

      • I concur with Steve, Citywatch and Matt. The new fares are easy to understand. The Charts and diagrams might be off-putting, but it is very easy to remember that as long as you don’t get off the train or bus and then try to get back onto that SAME train or bus, you have free transfers for 2 hours. 2 hours free transfers to any other bus or train except the one that you originally used. That is easy to remember.

      • TAP cards are available at every single rail and Orange Line station. They have been since Metro installed turnstiles. I’m not sure what you are talking about, Nathanael.

      • Phil J: Indeed, the “fare system” for gas is easy. But parking? On the street sometimes you pay at a meter. Or pay at a box and display the receipt on your dash. Or pay at a box and punch in the number that’s printed on the curb. Sometimes you’re allowed to feed the meter; other times you’re not. Maybe there’s a garage where you pay a flat fee upon entry. Or perhaps you take a ticket and pay when you exit. But maybe you can’t pay when you exit, but have to pay at a machine before you get in your car to exit. Maybe you can get your ticket validated at a business. Or maybe the validation only covers part of the parking fare, and you have to figure out how to pay the balance. Sometimes you need to decide among several options (e.g. whether to prepay, and how much), trying to read the instruction placard with a long line of impatient cars behind you. It’s anything but simple, and there have definitely been cases when I chose to take transit just to avoid having to figure out how to park at my destination.

      • Ron,

        You totally missed the point. The point I was trying to make was that the “fare system” for car drivers is simple as the 1-2-3 steps of filling up gas, drive around until empty, and filling up again.

        The transit fare system should replicate that simplicity. What’s wrong with the 1-2-3 step of

        1. Filling up TAP
        2. Travel around freely until funds are low (fares deducted in small increments per mile)
        3. Refilling up again

        When people say that distance fares are confusing because they don’t know how much it’s going to cost, I’ll say, who cares? Car drivers don’t because all they do is fill up, drive around until empty, and refilling up again.

        When car drivers go to the supermarket, which by the way everyone has to do and no one is going to pay $1.75 each way to go to their neighborhood Ralphs 1 or 2 miles away to go buy groceries AND there are no parking fees to go shopping at Ralphs or Vons, car drivers aren’t going to say “oh it’s going to cost so and so to go to Ralphs.” No, they just look at the gas meter and say, “meh, I have enough to go to Ralphs” and continue driving.

        Travel isn’t just going to Downtown LA, going to Dodgers Stadium, or Staples Center. Majority of what travelers do today are short errands like going to the supermarket, shopping at the mall, buying lotto at the 7-Eleven, going to Walmart or Costco, getting a haircut, watching a movie, etc. etc. And by far, no one is going to pay $1.75 each way, one ride or no matter how many transfers involved to travel 1-5 miles to these places. What to they do? Drive. And by far no one pays for parking to these places.

        And if you’re smart, you’ll know that there’s no way it justifies the cost of paying $1.75 to travel 2 miles to your closest Ralphs or Vons. And there’s no way to justify traveling 30 miles from Santa Monica to Pasadena either.

        Fares should be rated by the distance, in small increments per mile. If you do that, no one would care how much it costs to get somewhere, all they do will do the same thing like car drivers: fill up card, travel around until funds low, refill up again.

        If the fare is low starts off at $0.50 and increases in 10 cent increments per mile, and you have $100 loaded up into your TAP card, are you going to care? No. You’re likely to just tap-in, tap-out, let the system do the work, until your $100 is gone. Just like prepaid cell phone plans. You fill up $100 in airtime, don’t care how much it costs, and when it goes down close to empty, you fill it up again. If you talk too much, then you might be refilling $100 every two or three months. If you don’t and only use it for emergencies, $100 will last you over six months to a year. Everyone is different in cell phone usage, everyone is different in travel usage. Why should we even try to fit a $1.75 fits all plan when everyone’s travel patterns differ from person to person?

        And that’s how distance fares work all over the world. Don’t believe me? Google it yourself on how cities like Taipei and Singapore run their transit system.

        And if people who have to travel farther have a problem with it, then add a cap system in place so it won’t deduct any more than $100 a month, the same rate as the monthly pass. In fact, the cap system will replace the need for passes altogether. Simple as that.

      • Calwatch: glad to hear that that has changed! Go LA Metro!

        I’m not an Angelino. I last visted just before the gate locking, when TAP cards were bizarrely difficult to find. I looked on Metro’s website again the other day… and it says nothing about being able to buy them at stations, so I figured they hadn’t fixed it.

    • It’s easy to remember when you stay within the Metro system. But that’s not how people travel; they just don’t stick inside the Metro system, they go where the want to go and that involves transferring to other agencies like Torrance Transit and the Culver City Bus.

      People say it becomes more in line with Chicago and New York. Why should we limit ourselves to copying these US cities which have absolutely no resemblance to how big LA is and how big LA Metro has to cover? Why don’t we get in line with the best transit systems in the world like London and Tokyo, cities that have the same characteristics like us where there’s a big population spread out over a wide area?

      I have to agree with LAX and others who promote the distance fare system. We can try out this method right now, but if it fails, which I think it will, we need to try a distance based fare system next.

  17. The REAL thing to look at with passes is – do you need one anymore? If you get two hours of free transfers in each direction… and you ride metro for two round trips every single day – the monthly pass is only a better value after 29 days, or 58 one-way trips. If you don’t take at least two one-way trips every single day for the entire month, the monthly pass is a bad deal.

    I think this is why the monthly pass has gone up the way it has. Metro wants monthly passes to be for “heavy users” of the system. People who use it to commute to and from work twice a day 5 days a week will get a better deal using stored value.

    Anyone who does not ride at least two one-way trips every single day (literally – because 29 days is the break even point) gets a bad deal on the monthly pass. And considering holidays and the like, it’s safe to assume that most regular commuters won’t see the value in the monthly pass once they do the math. I don’t think Metro intends for these M-F commuters to have monthly passes, and that’s the purpose of the price increase.

  18. This article doesn’t explain how riders will be charged on a one-way trip that involves a rail to bus transfer that ends with a higher fare (say, the Silver line which costs $2.50). It just says that the Silver line to Metro rail will be included in the free 2 hour window. But what about the return trip? After we pay the $1.75 on the Purple (for example) to get to the Silver line bus, will it then charge us an additional $2.50 on the return trip? Or will it just charge the difference so that all we pay is $2.50 total within the 2 hour window? Some of us make round trips daily starting with the Silver line. Has anyone thought about this?

    • Hi Chang;

      If traveling in one direction on the Silver Line, you pay the base fare of $2.50 (1-Way Trip) when you board the Silver Line and get two hours of free transfers to Metro buses or trains. If your return strip from Metro Rail back to Silver Line is within the two hour free transfer period, you would only have to pay 75 cents (the upcharge) to get back on the Silver Line.

      Let’s say you begin your trip on a Metro Rail Line. When you start your trip you pay $1.75. If you transfer to the Silver Line within two hours of first starting your trip, then you only pay 75 cents when transferring to the Silver Line.

      In other words, if it’s a trip involving the Silver Line, you’ll pay $2.50 — whether you transfer or not.

      Hope that helps,

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  19. Your bus drivers a getting the habit of running late. I take the 70 to Union station and need to get there before 5 a.m to catch the gold line to Pasadena and they have been struggling to be on time. I expected to arrive on time with the bull shit fare increase. The down town buses such as the 70 need to be bigger during rush hours. With the wage increase all passengers should travel comfortably.

    • Buses are reliant on street traffic conditions. You can’t predict street traffic; there could be a car accident, rain, a police incident, a water main break, construction, Obama coming to town, a movie being filmed, there’s always something going on LA that creates traffic jams, all of which are factors beyond control of the bus driver.

      That being said, “time” is a very poor factor to be used in transit fare pricing. Distance is the more static variable that should be used. Traveling 10 miles in LA can be short as 10 minutes or as much an hour depending on traffic, but in the end, 10 miles is still 10 miles.

    • I’m not sure where you start your trip, but have you considered Rapid 770? It runs parallel to much of 70’s route* and should be faster because it has less stops. (*except for the part between Atlantic and Union Station)

      Also, the line that gets used around here often is that it’s important to email with any service issues so that customer complains are formally documented.

  20. Hello Steve,

    According to another FAQ page on

    “Under the new fare system, all upcharges for transfers to Metro Express or Silver Line are $0.75.”

    This is contradictory to the chart above that states that “Premium Charge for 7-day, 30-day and EZ transit pass [are $0.75], all other metro passes accepted without premium charge.”

    Could you clarify which it is? Can I transfer to the Silverline for free or do I have to pay that $.75 up-charge?


    • Hi Chris;

      All upcharges on a single fare are 75 cents. For regular riders carrying a 7-Day, 30-Day or EZ transit pass, the upcharge is 75 cents. That’s why it’s shown only in the blue column. All other metro passes refers to passes carried by seniors, college/voc and students.

      If you are riding with a single fare — let’s say you paid $1.75 fare on your TAP card — then it’s another 75 cents when you transfer to the Silver Line. If you are a senior, college or student with a 30-Day pass, then you don’t have to pay the 75 cent transfer. Please see the fifth question at this link and then click on FAQ for more info.

      Hope that helps,

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  21. Only Metro is capable of making a simple thing like free transfers this complicated. At this point, I’m also beginning to think that we need to start having a serious discussion in moving to a distance based system.

    • It just doesn’t seem that complicated to me. You get two hours of free transfers after your first TAP, and you can’t ride the same line twice for a round-trip ride. The end. What else about this new change is confusing?

      • Collin,

        When people get around, they just want to get around. They don’t want to memorize all these things or figure out how much it’s going to be or what the best deal is. They just want to go. Simple as that.

        All the what if scenarios that have yet to be answered, the loopholes that exist, the time restrictions, all the different passes, the different types of discounts, EZ Passes with zones, different rules apply when transferring to other municipal transit agencies, the idea where you’re supposed to “plan ahead” to get the best deal, all of it is making the fare system more complicated than it needs to be. It’s getting to the point where you need a handbook just to get around town. And this is supposed to promote more people to take transit and help tourists get around?

        Getting around town should be simple as driving a car. Fill up gas with whatever amount you want, drive around until tank nears empty, and fill it up with whatever amount you want again. There’s no time limits, no passes, no what if scenarios, no additional transfer rules to other municipal transit agencies memorize, it’s just fill up gas, drive around until empty, fill it up again.

        That same exact thing can be replicated just by simply filling up your TAP card, going to a distance based system to deduct cents per mile, with a daily/weekly/monthly cap system to replace passes. Charge it up, ride around, when it hits near zero balance, charge it up again. Ride around, hits the cap, won’t deduct any further. It should be that simple. And, that’s the way it works in the rest of the world. And it works perfectly fine.

        I don’t know why everything has to be this confusing. When car drivers look at this fare chart, they’re going to say “forget it, I’ll keep driving. The car is easier. Fill up gas, drive, get empty, fill up again.” People will in the end, continue to pay more in gas for the car because it’s easier than memorizing all these rules and what not.

      • Phil: Riding metro is the same as your gas analogy. Fill it up with gas, drive around, when it gets empty, fill it up again. With Metro, you fill your card up with stored value, ride around, when it gets empty, fill it up again. Sure there’s some finer edge-cases like short-line transfers, but gas prices also vary widely, and there’s three different tiers of gas, and different cars get different milage, and so on and so forth – heck, with the price of gas, what it cost me last month to drive to work can be different this month! I get the analogy you’re making, but at the same time, you’re definitely over-simplifying gas. The fact that gas prices spike so wildly alone is something to consider, and really, I see stored value the same as your filling up a gas tank analogy. Put money on card, ride around, card gets low, put more in, keep riding.

  22. For those who are interested Southern California Transit Advocates will be making a return visit to Metro’s TAP Lab this saturday, August 16th. This will be an opportunity to learn about the status of the program and implementation of the changes that will facilitate the fare change. Participants will meet up at 10 a.m. in the lobby of the Metro Headquarters Building adjacent to the Patsaouras Transit Plaza. Members of the public are welcome to be part of the tour. Kudos to SO.CA.TA member Ken Ruben for arranging the tour and Metro staff member David Sutton for the invitation. The tour will last two hours.

  23. And Metro wonders why everyone drives in LA. When driving a car, there’s no time limits to be worried about, forcing people to plan ahead, or memorizing all these transfer rules and exceptions. It’s simple as filling up the tank, driving around until empty, and filling it up again. Simple, straight to the point, and no ifs-and-buts.

    Have you put this into plain language? It’s a mouthful just to explain this system to an out-of-towner: “here in LA, it’s $1.75 with free transfers under two hours. But first you need to get a TAP card and load it with cash. Don’t waste your time buying it off the internet, no one knows how to use that system because the website is so clunky. Once you get a TAP card, you need to remember certain restrictions. You can’t use the free transfer for a roundtrip, but there’s a way to get around it by using a different numbered bus. You need to tap every time you make a transfer. Some rail lines are treated the same like the Red and Purple Lines, but others are not like the Expo and Blue Lines. There is no smart cap system in place so if you put in $20 into your TAP card, and decide that you were better off with a $7 daily pass, too bad, you’re stuck with it. You have to think ahead of the best deal to ride Metro and decide which is better to go, which is kind of hard to do because travel is hard to plan out in advance. Oh and transfer rules don’t apply when transferring to another municipal bus which there are lots of here in LA.”

    C’mon, it’s like you need a Cliff’s Notes just to take public transit in LA.

    Why does Metro have a penchant of making things a lot more complicated than it needs to be?

  24. For the No Consecutive Ride Rule Does that apply in the instance that when I load 1way trip With Transfers

    1.For Example. Boarding the Orange Line at North Hollywood (Destination Sign Reads Chatsworth) I get off at Balboa Station spend time in the area for 30 mins. Then proceed to Pierce College Does that mean i Cannot board a Orange Line Destination Sign Chatsworth going to Pierce College and MUST wait For A Orange Line With a destination sign Warner Center forcing me to wait a extra 5-10 Mins

    2.After 7PM as the Orange Line Operates From North Hollywood via Warner Center/Chatsworth Via Warner Center.
    Example:Board Orange Line at Sherman Way and Get Off at Canoga Station and go to the Nearby Topanga Mall for 30 Mins.If i want to go to Balboa Station (when Im within to 2hr Transfer Period) does that also mean i Can not board the Orange Line Bus with the Destination Sign going to North Hollywood Via Warner Center and forced to wait for the Metro Local 164.

    • Hi Frequent Rider:

      1. The answer is that you can’t ride the Orange Line, exit the bus and run an errand and then board the bus again on the same fare. You would be charged again. Again, the basic rule of the new transfers is no consecutive rides on the same bus or rail line. You could, however, ride the Orange Line, exit the bus, get on a different bus and then get on the Orange Line using the free transfers. But no consecutive rides!

      2. This is correct. The last tap was on Orange Line, so to travel with the free transfer you would have to board another bus line. Again, the basic rule is no consecutive rides on the same line.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  25. Steve, forgive me if this question has already been answered and I’ve simply overlooked the answer. What happens with red-to-purple rail transfers at Wilshire/Vermont or expo-to-blue transfers at Pico? How will the validators know whether I am tapping in order to transfer, or in order to make a return trip on the same line from that station?

    That particular situation doesn’t seem to be addressed in the FAQ under “How do transfers work at Metro’s transfer stations?” (or elsewhere, as far as I can see).


    • This same problem will exist going southbound/westbound on the Blue or Expo Line at USC, as well as the future Crenshaw Line and Green Line at Aviation/LAX.

      If I take the Blue Line south and transfer to the Expo Line west, does that constitute a transfer or not?

      See, everything is made more confusing than it needs to be. They could’ve just made it more easier with charging by distance like the rest of the world, but noooo, America has to be different. And wrong as always!

      • Yes, going from Blue to Expo, or vice-versa, constitutes a transfer. Please tap the validator on the platform at Pico Station, the transfer point between the Blue and Expo Lines.

        Steve Hymon
        Editor, The Source

    • Hi Allon;

      You can transfer freely between the Red and Purple Lines at Wilshire/Vermont — there are no transfer TAP validators.

      At Pico Station, you should tap the validator on the platform when transferring between Blue and Expo Lines.

      Hope that helps,

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • Hi Steve,

        Since no good deed goes unpunished, let’s make the question tougher!

        Say that I take the Expo line from Culver City to Pico. Then, an hour later, I want to return to Culver City. I tap my stored-value card at the validator for the return trip. But the validator thinks (if validators could think…) that I am transfering to the Blue line, and does not deduct a return fare. Am I now technically in violation of fare regulations? Could a fare inspector cite me for this? How could I avoid unwittingly becoming a scofflaw, under these circumstances?


        • Hey Allon;

          That’s a tough one. Let me run that one up the flag pole here, so to speak, because I really don’t know how that works. It seems like the kind of thing that would be against the spirit of the new rules, but I’m not sure. Will try to get answer to you tomorrow!

          Steve Hymon
          Editor, The Source

        • Hi Allon;

          Under your scenario, you would be charged another fare when you get back on the Expo Line at Pico Station. The validators used to transfer are in the middle of the platform, whereas the validators at the entrance of the platforms are programmed differently and treat taps as people entering the system.

          In other words, same basic rules apply: no consecutive rides on the same bus or train line.

          Steve Hymon
          Editor, The Source

      • I wish the transfers includes the same station/stop transfers. Someone who simply wants to get milk and some eggs from a grocery store a mile away (a 20 minute walk but only a 10 minute bus ride) have to pay twice, and will only encourage them to use a car instead for such a short trip. Raise it to $2.00 if you have to.

      • Hi Steve,

        Thanks for the comment about the two kinds of validators. Will the transfer validators be specially marked? In London, which is a closed, zone-based system, they have special pink validators in some stations which are used to indicate your route, for situations where there are different prices for two routes between the same end points. If Metro has separate validators for transfers, they should have distinct and clear markings (e.g. “Tap to enter” as opposed to “Tap to transfer”).

        A related question is the effect of the new system on metro-to-muni transfers. For example, taking the Green Line to the Blue Line to Long Brach Transit, right now I need to purchase the muni transfer at Willowbrook, which is inconvenient (there’s a TVM on the mezzanine level, but to get from it to the Blue Line platform you pass through either two gates, or none). Where will I purchase the muni transfer come September 15?

  26. I do want to see that the shortline rule is enforced as this will be the cause of a lot of issues (the FAQ says that riders continuing in the same direction on a shortline due to their bus terminating prematurely can keep riding on the same fare). Also “transfers” between branches of the same line, such as the Orange Line Warner Center-Chatsworth, need to be accounted for as well.

  27. Am I reading the fare chart correctly? The 460 will now be $2.50 from the Disneyland area instead of $2.90? And with a Metrolink ticket will only cost $0.75?

    • Hi Chris;

      Yes, you are reading the chart correctly! Metro got rid of Zone 2, so it’s now cheaper to travel on Line 460. It’s a Wonderful World After All! 🙂

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  28. AHixson,

    Can’t afford a car and can’t afford Metro?

    I have a suggestion: do what many people are doing these days and become a scooterist. If it’s going to cost $110 for a monthly pass, you can easily not use Metro at all and use the monthly $110 payment towards a cheap scooter. If you can afford a computer to type here, you can afford or finance a scooter.

    A year’s worth of $110 monthly pass totals to $1,320. You can buy a nice scooter that gets 100 MPG for that amount. In the end, you’re likely going to end up saving more money on a scooter than going Metro at these rates. At a fuel economy of 100 MPG, you’re likely only to need less than $5 worth of gas, PER WEEK. And insurance is dirt cheap at around $100 a year, maintenance is so cheap and easy that you can just watch how to do it on Youtube.

    Just Google around and all the information is available. You have Google, use it.

  29. Also a suggestion for Metro,

    Since this is, in my opinion, too confusing and majority of Metro transit riders are those who are not proficient in English, you might as well explain the new fare system using graphics. This would be a good use of your art budget, to explain how the new fare system works with all the ifs and buts explained using diagrams, examples, and drawings.

    Explaining all the examples like what you can do what you can’t do using pictures and drawings speak a lot more than just plain old text.

    I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of people who are expecting that “2 hours free transfer” is a lot different than they expected to be, especially those who ride Metro Rail, where the countdown time starts at point of validation at the gates, not when they actually board the train.

  30. Martin Cruz,

    The free transfer benefit is limited to two hours. The likelihood of getting from Manhattan Beach to Pasadena in 2 hours is highly unlikely.

    First, the free transfer benefit clock starts ticking once you tap at the validator. Unlike a bus where you TAP as soon as you get onboard the bus, the time when you tapped your card at the validator has absolutely no correlation to when the train arrives. So, you could TAP in at the validator and can be wait as much as 30 minutes not moving, just waiting at the station, until the train comes.

    Then there’s the time to travel that distance. Taking the Green Line from it’s Redondo Beach terminus to the Blue Line transfer station at Willowbrook takes about 22 minutes.

    So you just spent 30 minutes waiting for the Green Line to come + 22 minutes on the Green Line, so you already used up 52 minutes, just to get to the Blue Line transfer station.

    Now you also have to factor in the transit wait time for the Blue Line to arrive. And the Blue Line also has constant problems with delays. But let’s say it comes on time and all it is a 10 minute wait.

    Now you also have to factor in that it takes 30 minutes to go from Willowbrook to 7th/Metro, again, pending no delays.

    So 52 minutes just to get to the Blue Line station, 10 minute wait for the Blue Line to come, plus 30 minutes from Willowbrook to 7th/Metro. Pending no delays, that’s a total of 92 minutes spent and 28 minutes left to complete the trip.

    Can you go from 7th/Metro to Pasadena with 28 minutes to spare? No, you can’t. And this is the best case scenario involving no delays. At best, you’re going to be charged another $1.75 again somewhere along the trip.

    • I’m not sure why you say it would require waiting 30 minutes for the Green Line to leave. At most times of the day it runs every seven to 14 minutes, stretching to 20 minutes later in the evening. Here’s the timetable:

      If you’re traveling during the day or rush hour and there are no significant delays, you should be able to tap to board the Gold Line within the two hour transfer window. It’s a long transit trip obviously, but doable.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • “So, you could TAP in at the validator and can be wait as much as 30 minutes not moving, just waiting at the station, until the train comes.”

      Or. . . Hear me out on this. . . Instead of Tapping and waiting 30 min for a train (I only see this happening at night), you can tap as soon as the train is about to arrive and save those 30 min towards transfer time. He/she doesn’t need to be in Manhattan beach within that 2 hour window, but I can tell that as long as the blue line isn’t running behind schedule, he/she can definitely make it to Rosa Parks station to transfer to the Green Line within 2 hours.

      A while back I had to commute between Pasadena and Santa Monica for a week (normally it is Silver Lake to Santa Monica). While this is easily a 2+ hour trip, I easily made the trip in an 1hr 20min thanks to the Gold Line and Rapid 10. My normal commute is also 1hr 20min via Red Line and Rapid 7, though obviously since BBB plays a role my circumstances are different but my point is certain long distance commutes can definitely be done in a short amount of time and if the transfer is on time.

  31. Martin Cruz,

    “It will be possible to travel from Manhattan Beach to Pasadena using four trains for just $1.75. That same ride right now costs $6! Enough said.”

    And do you have any proof that a lot of people take trips from Manhattan Beach to Pasadena?

    Look, people don’t do long distance trips that often. Majority of the people who rely on public transit, namely the poor who can’t afford a car and live in apartment complexes, uses them for short trips like going to the grocery store or going to work nearby.

    You say it’s a deal that people can go from Manhattan Beach to Pasadena for $1.75. Do you have any statistics to back up your statement that majority of the people who ride Metro do these kinds of trips every day?

    Put it another way, it’s $1.75 to go to the nearest grocery store, and since you can’t use it for roundtrips, poor people are going to pay $3.50 just to go buy a gallon of milk at their neighborhood supermarket!

  32. So – for a person that strictly rides the Red Line only 3 days a week, I have to purchase a $100 TAP card? Looks like Metro just took my incentive away for not driving my car into downtown. At this point, even if I pay $5 bucks a day to park in Chinatown, I think it’s a better deal that what Metro offers. Thanks Metro – you really know how to incentivize transit use.

    • Hi AHixson;

      Please see your personal email for a response.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • If you strictly ride the Red line 3 days a week, there’s no need for you to purchase a $100 monthly pass TAP card.

      Under the new fare structure, you can simply load “stored value” onto your tap card. Each one-way trip is $1.75, so if you take the red line to and from work 3 times a week, that’s just $42/month, less than the cost of a single tank of gas.

    • Along these lines, why was the 30-day pass increased by 33 percent, while the 7-day pass was raised by only 25 percent? People who buy a 30-day pass tend to be Metro’s most frequent riders, and thus would seemingly deserve larger discounts.

  33. I have to agree with LAX Frequent Flyer. As anyone who has traveled outside the US, you know that fare systems around the world are much easier and is based on distance traveled, not a pay the same price no matter how far you go system like the US does. Much as always, like the metric system and banning guns, America has to do things their own (wrong) way instead of doing what the rest of the world does right.

    What Metro did was make things too confusing. For example, in Korea the fare system is much more simpler.

    Add in whatever money you want to your T-Money Card (their version of TAP, only 100 times better), tap-in on entry, tap-out on exit, and money is deducted based on how many stations you traveled through. It can be as cheap as few cents for short trips and upwards to $2.00 for longer distance trips.

    Really Metro, you just need to ask around. There’s so many Koreans here in LA that you can ask advice for on how to better run transit fare system. Don’t you guys have Korean-Americans working at Metro?

    • Maybe it’s because I am used to it, but a one-price-per-trip system makes sense to me. I don’t have to think about the distance of how far I will be going – I just hop on, make needed transfers, and get off. One price.

      • Collin,

        Well, you’re already doing that way of payment with other things. Let’s say you’re on a prepaid cell phone plan. Do you really think how much that call is costing you per minute? Do you want your cell phone rather, to be charged the same $1.75 price whether you call for 1 minute or 1 hour? Of course not. If you call a minute, you’d rather pay for only a minute of that call like 10 cents and if you call for an hour, you pay for an hour like $6.

        When you use water or electricity, do you think how much you’re being charged for each gallon of water use or how many kilo-watt hours of electricity you use? No either. Or, should it be fair that everyone pays the same water or electric bill regardless you have a swimming pool or not, whether you run a home server or not?

        It’s the same thing. In my country, we don’t think how much it costs to get from point A to point B. The way we pay for transit is just like a cell phone, water, or electricity, it’s a rated plan just like a utility. If cell phones are calculated by the minute, water is by the gallon, and electricity by kilowatt hours, then transit is rated by the travel distance. And no one thinks “oh it costs so-and-so to get from here to here” much like you don’t think “oh it costs so-and-so for X gallons of water or Y kilowatts of electricity.”

        You just use it and have the rate deducted automatically. We charge up the cards with whatever money you want and make it last as long as it can last. If the card balance gets low, we charge it up again. Put in $100, tap, tap, tap for however long it lasts (maybe a month, maybe a week, everyone is different depending on travel distance), when it reaches low funds, charge it up again with whatever amount you want, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, until it runs out again. Repeat over and over.

        And each time it deducts money depending on distance traveled. And no one cares about how much it costs because people don’t think that way, just like how people don’t think about how much they’re charged for cell phone minutes, gallons of water, or kilo-watts of electricity.

        You just need to learn that there are many different ways of doing things. Besides, being used to it is only on the eye of the beholder. When Americans come to Taiwan, they get the hang of our transit fare system very quickly and many say that it’s a way better and fairer system then they have back in America.

  34. The two hour transfer rule seems pretty straightforward. Shortlines are covered in the other question on the FAQ. Sure there will be people trying to game the system to get a free roundtrip (by using parallel or buses that share the same street, or by going in a circle) but those numbers are likely to be very small, so it behooves Metro to make the transfer policy as liberal as possible while still keeping in line with the Board’s direction that return trips are not permitted.

    • calwatch,

      Assumptions like “those numbers are likely to be very small” only ends up leading to more problems later on. Just look at the honor system, all the problems that caused, the billions in fares that went uncollected, and the millions of dollars that it took to fix it, with no real solution yet in place for half of the system that can’t be gated. If Metro had thought it through from the beginning, we wouldn’t be in this mess today.

      All problems need to be laid out from the start from the planning stages. Metro keeps having this problem of cutting corners that only ends up costing more to taxpayers to fix years later.

  35. Hi everyone;

    Thanks for the questions. I’ll start tracking down answers and post them here as I get them. Hopefully sooner rather than later. I want to make sure the info is correct–I appreciate your patience.

    Steve Hymon
    Editor, The Source

  36. I’m not from LA (NYC to be exact) but I have to disagree with LAX Frequent Flyer and many others (specifically the Bus Riders Union) who oppose the new Metro fare structure.

    In New York the cash fare for using the subways is actually $2.75 without any transfers ($2.50 for a single bus ride with one paper transfer t another bus). Most of us use a MetroCard which not only cuts the subway ride to $2.50, but offers bus-to-subway, subway-to-bus & bus-to-bus transfers. [NYC Transit also gives MetroCard users a 5% bonus for commuters that put $5 or more into the fare cards.]

    It does require a TAP Card, but when you consider that the base fare in Los Angeles will only be $1.75 AND commuters will have unlimited transfers throughout the Metro bus and rail network, that can only encourage more riders to use public transportation more often. It will be possible to travel from Manhattan Beach to Pasadena using four trains for just $1.75. That same ride right now costs $6! Enough said.

    • And how many times has NYC raised their fares? It keeps going up, up and up. When is it going to end? It’s $2.50 per ride now, soon it’ll be $3.00, then $5.00, and $10 just to ride the bus and their farebox recovery ratio is barely above 50%.

      On the other hand, let’s look at the Taipei Metro system, where I am from. Their fares range from as little as $0.66 (NT$ 20) to $1.82 (NT$ 55) depending on travel distance. You get further discounts when using the EasyCard or a qualified discount rider like being a senior citizen, student, or being disabled. And the Taipei Metro actually makes money, at an astonishing rate of 119% farebox recovery ratio that it has never needed to raise their fares.

      And before you say it, majority of the people in Taipei owns scooters to get around much like a majority of people in LA owns cars, so “everyone takes transit, that’s why they make money” isn’t an excuse to use either. If everyone took transit, then NYC will be making money. Instead, they keep losing money and jacking up fares all the time.

      So if it’s comparing between a $2.50 system just to ride a bus like NYC where fares keep going up over and over again, or a fare system that ranges from $0.66 to $1.82 depending on how far one travels and fares don’t change, I take the latter method.

  37. LAX Frequent Flyer,

    Seems pretty easy to understand to me. How will you know what the distance based fare is? That is far more complicated than this.

    • Matt,

      “How will you know what the distance based fare is”

      This. See, you’re thinking before you ride the bus or train. You’re not supposed to do that to begin with.

      See, it’s just like a prepaid cell phone plan or paying for your water or electric bill. You don’t care about the price of a prepaid cell phone plan, the cost of how many gallons of water you use, or the cost of how much electricity you pay per kilowatt hour.

      That’s how transit should be. Load up whatever amount you want onto your TAP card. Metro should charge like $0.50 a mile. Cap it off at $7.00 a day. And forget about it. Just keep tapping in when you board and tapping out when you exit, and it’ll keep deducting at the $0.50 a mile rate. You’re not supposed to care how much it costs to get somewhere because it’s going to be set at $0.50 a mile rate, just like cell phone minutes, gallons of water, or kilowatt hours for electricity.

      Once it reaches $7 per day, it caps off and won’t deduct any further. When your funds deplete, you refill it up again.

      Really, this is better to understand if you just try it out and you’ll see what I mean that a distance based plan is a more easier method than this.

    • I’m starting to think we need to give distance fares a try. Sounds a lot more easier to remember than the current plan.

        • If you can get all your transfers from Huntington Park to Chatsworth done within two hours, that’s a $1.75 ride versus having to pay $1.50 in the present fare system.

          Steve Hymon
          Editor, The Source

      • Why not just move to Chatsworth so you’re closer to work or find a job in Huntington Park so the job is closer to where you live? It sounds ridiculous to do that commute every single day on a bus if you ask me.

  38. a 3rd question: The new fare structure would allow someone to use a local for their outbound trip, and a rapid for the return trip, on a single fare if done within 2 hours, correct? So if I take the 720 from Downtown to Koreatown, I can return back to downtown on the 20 for a single fare, if within the 2 hours?

    • Hi again Greg!

      Yes. As long as payment is done using a TAP card and each boarding is on different lines the $1.75 fare would cover this.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  39. Steve, 2 Questions: 1) It seems like 2 trips on the same line, in the same direction, are allowed within the 2 hours, correct? So if I take the Westbound 720 from Downtown to Wilshire/Vermont, and get off to run an errand for 20 minutes, I can hop back on the Westbound 720 and continue my journey to Beverly Hills, with a single fare (as long as I board the 2nd 720 within 2 hours of the first boarding)? 2) Since you can’t board the same exact line as the previous line, in the opposite direction, for a single $1.75 fare, what if you do something like this: board the 720 Westbound from Downtown to Wilshire/La Brea. Get off at La Brea and board a 217 bus (in any direction) for just a couple blocks/one stop only. Then you walk back to Wilshire/La Brea and board the Eastbound 720 back to downtown. Assuming you did all this in the 2 hour window, this trip would all fall under a single $1.75 fare, correct?

    • Hi Greg;

      Here are the answers to your questions:

      1) Consecutive trips on the same bus line or train line are not permitted on a single fare. If you wanted to continue a trip in the same direction, you would have to transfer from one line to another line. The reason for this: the idea behind the new free transfers is to allow and encourage people to connect to other transit lines to get to their final destination.

      2) This ride would be possible for a single $1.75 fare as long as you tap into the final part of the ride within two hours of starting. As stated above, no consecutive rides on the same line are allowed. However, under this scenario, you’re splitting things up by taking the 720 to the 217 and then back to the 720. I don’t think it’s a transit trip that would be appealing to many people, but it is possible.

      Hope that helps,

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • +1 again. All they had to do was say 2 hours free transfers, simple as that. Not come up with all these strings attached.

      • It isn’t really strings – it’s funky edge cases. For a majority of riders, it’s quite simple: Two hours of free transfers. That’s TRANSFERS – a transfer, in my mind, is not the same line again. That’s not a transfer. If you say “I’m transferring from line 60 to line 60” you kinda see what I’m saying. In the end, it really is quite simple: Two hours of free transfers.

  40. “But transfers back to the same bus or rail line where the customer’s TAP card was last used are not permitted.”

    Does this mean that I could not get off at a rail/bus station, do stuff, and then get back onto the same train/bus line to continue the trip?

    • Hi Alex;

      Under the new fare structure you CANNOT take a bus or train to a destination, get off the bus and train and then get back on the same bus line/train line for the same fare. You would be charged a new fare.

      To put it another way, no consecutive rides on the same bus or train line are allowed.

      One exception is this: let’s say you took the 720 Rapid east on Wilshire to La Cienega, got off the bus and ran an errand. You could take the 20 local bus back west on Wilshire under the same fare. The reason: the 20 is considered a different bus line than the 720.

      Hope that helps,

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      The transfer is only permitted on different bus lines. For example, a customer may choose to ride bus line 720 get off and get coffee and then ride bus line 20- this is permitted and the transfer is valid.

  41. Assuming that the peak fare still begins at 3:00 pm weekdays, can a Senior 62+ TAP a 1-way trip at 2:59 pm for 35 cents that is also good for transfers for the next two hours?

    • Hi Morris;

      Yes. The price of the fare is determined by when you tap into the system. If you tap into the system at 2:59 p.m., then you get the 35 cent fare plus the free transfers for two hours. If you tap into the system at (for example) 3:02 p.m., then you would pay the higher 75 cent peak-hour fare and still get the two hours of free transfers.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  42. Are we yet able to load an EZ pass from a vending kiosk? Is it possible purchase a year EZ pass?

    • Hi Len;

      EZ transit passes not available from the ticket machines and can only be purchased at Metro Customer Centers, online at or via mail order by visiting — look under EZ transit tab. I don’t believe annual passes are available at this time. Besides — it’s better to pay by the month, rather than pay a large amount upfront and then possibly have something happen that would result in you not being able to use the pass.

      Hope that helps,

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  43. As an out of town visitor I would like to know where the 7 day passes can be 7purchased. Is the 7 day pass good for all zones?

    • Hi Sharylin;

      The 7-day pass can be purchased from Metro ticket machines at all Metro Rail stations and Orange Line busway stations — that’s the easiest way to get them. They’re also sold at Metro Customer Centers. More info here: and then click on the “passes & tokens” tab.

      Hope that helps,

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  44. Wow, all these ifs and buts and gotchas just seems to discourage ridership than promote them. Who is going to memorize all this?

    And this is supposed to be easier than fill up TAP card with cash value, tap-in, tap-out, deduct fares by the distance, with a cap system in place.

    • I agree. This whole 2 hour free transfer was supposed to be easy and simple to understand. Instead, they just made it more confusing for everybody.