Metro unveils new “LIFE” programs for discounted fares for low-income riders

As of January 1, qualifying riders can save even more on Metro 7-Day, 30-Day or EZ passes with LIFE coupons. The discounts are made possible by the passage of the Measure M sales tax ballot measure by L.A. County voters in 2016.

The LIFE (Low Income Fare is Easy) program consolidates two existing programs to help low-income riders. Here are the new Metro Board-approved subsidies for qualifying riders:

Metro 30-Day Pass New monthly coupon value Final pass price
Regular $24 $76
Senior/Disabled $8 $12
College/Vocational $13 $30
Student K-12 $10 $14

Adult riders, Senior/Disabled, K-12 grade students and full time College/Vocational students are eligible if their incomes are:

Household size Annual income
1 $31,550 or less
2 36,050 or less
3 $40,550 or less
4 $45,050 or less
5 $48,700 or less
6 $52,300 or less

Children six or older whose parents qualify are automatically eligible to receive LIFE coupons.

The project will initially continue the use of the coupons and tokens that are currently distributed to qualifying riders. In the future, the TAP system will recognize eligible individuals and the discounted fares will automatically be part of the fare payment system — eliminating the need for coupons. That will make signing up, renewing and using passes a lot easier.

For more information and to apply for the discounted fares, click here and then click on the “How to sign up” tab. 

Transit agencies in the program are:

  • Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA)
  • Culver City Bus
  • Foothill Transit
  • LADOT Transit
  • Long Beach Transit
  • Metro
  • Montebello Bus Lines
  • Norwalk Transit System
  • Santa Clarita Transit
  • Santa Monica Big Blue Bus
  • Torrance Transit


Here is a Metro staff report going to the Metro Board this month about the LIFE program.

3 replies

  1. Henry Fung, that is easy for you to say. Leave the $1.75 fares alone. No need for increase in fares.

  2. As nice as it is that Metro is looking at increasing the subsidy for this program, the fundamental problem remains that most people don’t even know this program exists and, even if they do, it’s still a hassle to have to arrange an appointment with some third-party agency to receive the discounted fare. Public transit should be seen as a necessary and useful service to every person, not divided up into these means-tested categories which can potentially serve as justification for raising the general fares (as the commenter above suggested), which ultimately results in lower transit ridership and, by extension, higher traffic and increased pollution.

  3. Since we have this mitigation it might be time to raise single ride fares up to at least $2.00. Encourage more people to use passes this way.