Say goodbye to Metro tokens this November

The last day to use Metro tokens is Friday, Nov. 29, 2019. After this day, Metro will no longer accept tokens. Unused tokens are non-refundable.

Loading fare onto a TAP card is the safest and most convenient way to travel throughout L.A. County. Use your tokens at any TAP vending machine to load a 1-way trip onto your TAP card. TAP cards can be purchased for $2 and loaded:

> Online at
> By phone at 866.TAPTOGO
> At over 450 vendor locations
> At TAP vending machines located at all Metro Rail, Silver Line and Orange Line stations, and at El Monte Station

For more information, call 323.GOMETRO. For information on buying and loading a TAP card, call 866.TAPTOGO or visit

Categories: Transportation News

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15 replies

  1. Hi Steve, as a related question, TVM’s currently give out dollar coins as change, but will not accept them for purchase. Can the TVM’s be modified to give out quarters as change instead of dollar coins, someday?

    • I have never had a problem using dollar coins with TVMs.

  2. Is it possible to buy a few tokens as keepsakes? I understand the design of the tokens hasn’t changed in about 20 yr.

    • Hi Yorkman;

      We stopped selling the tokens. You might be able to find someone in the transit enthusiast community who has some. Maybe try the Facebook LA transit fan group?

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  3. Isn’t it still possible to buy TAP cards on buses and fund them when you board and buy a new TAP card?

  4. How is this not breach of contract… or consumer fraud? With all the millions of dollars lining the pockets of Metro executives, why can’t they refund the value… or allow tokens to be converted into equivalent fare on tap cards? This is like companies which try to enforce expiration dates on gift cards, a practice illegal in the state of California.

    • Re-read. This notice states exactly how to convert tokens into equivalent value on tap cards. I did it long ago.

      • Here’s what I was previously told by Metro staff:

        1 – Once loaded on a TAP card, the rides become subject to expiration.

        2 – The number of rides stored on any one TAP card is subject to a rather small limit (with each additional TAP card costing $2).

        3 – Whereas tokens are accepted as fare by most or all local agencies other than Metro, 1-way trips on a TAP card might only be good for rides on Metro.

        Hopefully Metro undertook the necessary considerations to make the value to riders truly equivalent. Any clarification or additional information on these 3 points would be appreciated. Thanks!

        • UPDATE: As I don’t live anywhere near a TAP vending machine, I have not at this time been able to check for myself how well this works. I did talk with some local transit employees, and here is what I was told about each of these three issues:

          1 – It is INCORRECT that rides expire. A TAP-TO-GO representative told me that when your TAP card expires and you pay for a new card, you can then call and have your rides transferred over from the expired card.

          2 – The same rep told me you can load and maintain a balance of 8 and only 8 tokens on any one TAP card (prior to the November deadline). When I asked for the rationale behind the limit, she said that is currently the most the system can handle. This is hard to believe, considering the amount of time (2 years?) Metro has had to prepare for these changes. Isn’t this all part of the multi-million dollar, taxpayer-funded enhancement of Los Angeles area transit?

          3 – It seems that you can only load Metro rides on your TAP card with your remaining tokens. Those of us who live in areas of the County serviced primarily by other bus systems are just out of luck. I realize Metro wants to increase ridership, but forcing customers to use tokens or lose them by November seems inappropriate and unnecessary.

          As the only information I could get was verbal, perhaps The Source’s author, editor, or moderator could help with additional information on the subject. It would be appreciated.

      • I wonder why anyone would still be using tokens in the first place, considering they won’t get you the two hours of free transfers with the Tap card.

        • Some people don’t need the 2 hour transfers, plus TAP has a long way to go before it gets any deserved praise.

          Yeah, can’t knock on the 2 hour transfers, but that will eventually have to go if we really want to see the system actually expand and become more reliable.

          But I do have to admit, other than the 18 tokens I received a few years back, I can’t recall using them.

          • True that some people don’t need the 2 hour transfers. Also, some people don’t GET the 2 hour transfers, including those who must finish their trip on a non-Metro local bus system. If such people have cash value stored on their TAP card, there is an INVOLUNTARY deduction on their next trip for an inter-agency transfer (with no option even to pay using another 1-way trip).