Three Metro TAP vending machines at Union Station will show new screen prompts beginning today as part of a two-week test to see how the riding public likes the improvements.
As the images above demonstrate, the new screen prompts (top) are dramatically different than the current ones (bottom). In particular, it’s much easier for users to know which button they’re supposed to push when putting fares on their TAP cards.
The three TAP vending machines are in the following locations at Union Station: one is on the east mezzanine to the Red/Purple Line subway, one is on the west mezzanine to the Red/Purple Line subway and one is adjacent to the Metro Customer Center in Union Station’s East Portal. The machines with the new prompts have signage along the top indicating they’re different than the existing machines.
The new prompts are intended to make the machines easier to navigate, especially for new or infrequent Metro riders who may find some of the TAP jargon confusing. The new prompts will be tested for two weeks and if all goes well, Metro will then begin to install the updated screens on the 450 TAP vending machines throughout the Metro system.
If you have had the chance to try out the new screens, let us know what you think by commenting on this post or tweeting us on Metro’s general Twitter stream with the hashtag #newscreens.
Here’s a short video we made showing three sample transactions with the new screens, all involving putting fares on a new TAP card.
If you’re new to Metro and none of this is making sense, here’s a quick primer on our fare system: Metro riders use plastic reloadable “TAP” cards to pay fares on buses and trains. TAP cards can be loaded with daily, weekly or monthly passes or different amounts of cash from which the cost fares are deducted. TAP cards are available from purchase at TAP vending machines at all Metro Rail and Orange Line stations. They can be bought online here or at various outlets throughout L.A. County.
TAP cards cost $1 and can be reused for several years — they’re a very convenient way of paying fares instead of fumbling with cash and coins every time you ride. With a TAP card, you just tap the card on the farebox when boarding a bus or on the turnstile or validator at Metro Rail stations.
More on Metro fares and TAP can be found on the fare page of metro.net, including information on discounts for low-income, disabled and senior riders. TAP cards can also be purchased online at taptogo.net. Many other bus agencies around Los Angeles County now use TAP cards — here’s the list.