What is a TAP Card?
TAP is a durable reusable plastic card that works as your bus pass. Load your TAP card with Stored Value (good on any transit agency) or with one of our many pass options for fast and seamless travel throughout Los Angeles County. Simply tap your card on the mobile validator as you enter the bus and look for the green screen to verify that your card is valid. You are now ready to board the bus!
Regular fare riders can purchase TAP cards and/or load fares at these locations:
- Online at taptogo.net.
- By phone at 866.TAPTOGO (866.827.8646).
- At one of nearly 400 TAP vendor locations (check taptogo.net for a location near you).
- At TAP vending machines located at all Metro Rail Stations.
- At Blue: The Transit Store, now located in our temporary trailer space at 1334 5th St., Santa Monica, CA 90401.
- If you qualify as a Senior, Disabled or Medicare rider, you can fares at a discounted rate, but you'll need a special TAP card. For details and applications, visit taptogo.net.
Fares available on TAP
- All Regular Big Blue Bus passes:
- Day Pass*
- 7-Day Pass*
- 13 Rides Pass*
- 30-Day Pass*
- 30-Day Rapid 10 Express Pass
- EZ transit pass is a monthly-calendar pass that is loaded on your TAP card. It is good for local travel on 24 transit agencies, including Big Blue Bus.
- Stored Value is a pay-per-ride option and is the most flexible way to pay your Big Blue Bus or other TAP participating agency fare. When you tap your card, the correct single-ride fare will be automatically deducted.*
*Rapid 10 customers will need to pay $1.25 upgrade fee in cash or on a separate TAP card loaded with Stored Value.
TAP Customer Service
Big Blue Bus will do
its best to assist customers with TAP inquiries. For specific card inquiries,
such as checking the status of a reduced fare TAP card, checking the balance of
your card, reporting a lost card, etc., please call the TAP Customer Service Center at 866.TAPTOGO (866.827.8646).
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the benefits of TAP?
Where is my TAP card accepted?
Can I use my TAP card for Interagency Transfers?
How much does the TAP card cost?
How to I pay my $1.25 Rapid 10 upgrade fee?
How do I use TAP on board your bus?
Can I allow others to use my TAP card?
I am a Metro Annual Pass holder, does that include my fare on Big Blue Bus?
How do I pay my fare if the TAP validator is missing or out of order?
Questions about reduced fare programs for Seniors, Disabled Students and Customers
How do I get a Senior or Disabled reduced-fare TAP card?
Do K-12 students receive discounts with TAP?
Do college students receive discounts with TAP?
TAP offers convenience and security. Its smart chip technology allows
for Balance Protection (at no cost to you) and the ability to load your card
online to expedite boarding time. TAP makes it easier to connect with other
municipal transit systems.
TAP cards are accepted
on all transit agencies in Los Angeles County with appropriate passes or Stored
Value loaded on them. TAP cards can hold up to eight different types of agency
and zone passes, transfers, and Stored Value to make travel easy throughout the
greater Los Angeles area.
You can use your TAP
card for transfers between Metro Rail and Big Blue Bus. Paper transfers are
utilized between Big Blue Bus, Metro Bus or other municipal bus lines. Please
visit our Interagency Transfers page for details.
Please note: Big Blue
Bus does not accept transfers from one Big Blue Bus to another Big Blue Bus.
A regular fare TAP
card costs $2. Reduced-fare TAP cards (Seniors, Students, Disabled) are
provided at no cost; however, you must
apply for the card in advance. If you lose the card (and have not set up
Balance Protection) you will have to pay for a new card.
At this time,
customers paying with TAP Stored Value, EZ transit passes or other Big
Blue Bus passes will tap once and then pay the upgrade fee with $1.25 in
cash. Alternatively, customers can save up to $0.30 per trip, when paying both
the base fare and upgrade fee on TAP, for a total of $2.20. Please note that
two separate TAP cards loaded with Stored Value each are required to complete
Please inform your bus operator if you are using one of the
following types of passes that do not require the upgrade
- Big Blue Bus Senior/Disabled/Medicare
- Big Blue Bus 30-Day Rapid 10
- Big Blue Bus
Senior/Disabled/Medicare 30-Day Rapid 10 Express Pass
- Big Blue Bus Annual Pass
- EZ transit pass holders with a Zone 1 or higher
Once your card is loaded, simply tap your card on the bus
validator/farebox or station turnstile. A "beep" and "GO" message
will show your card is valid. You are now free to board the bus or train. If
your card reads "NO $/Pass" onboard bus, or "Please add value or
pass" at a validator or turnstile, please load Stored Value or the
appropriate transit agency pass to the card.
TAP cards are specific to each user. Each customer must have their own TAP card. Cards are non-transferable.
The Annual Pass on a
TAP card is only valid on LA Metro Bus and Rail. Annual Pass holders who wish
to ride on Big Blue Bus must pay their fare by adding Stored Value, a Big Blue Bus pass, or an EZ
transit pass (plus zones, if applicable) to their Annual Pass on TAP.
This happens occasionally and we truly apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you. In these instances, please pay your fare using cash.
Senior and disabled customers
are able to receive discounts only with a special reduced-fare
TAP card. This TAP card can accommodate all Big Blue Bus passes designed for Senior/Disabled/Medicare
customers, as well as Stored Value. If you choose to use Stored Value to ride Big
Blue Bus or any other TAP participating agency, the TAP smartcard will
automatically charge you the reduced rate for each trip.
You can apply the
- Online at taptogo.net/reducedfares
- Metro Customer Center
(either by mail or in person). You can pick up a paper application at the Big
Blue Bus Transit Store. Eligible applicants need to bring a copy of a valid
photo ID (e.g. Driver’s License, State ID, Passport) and a head shot photo on
photo paper (similar to a passport photo) to the Customer Center. Please see
application for details.
- Big Blue Bus also
hosts workshops at the Ken Edwards Center on the
first Wednesday of every month (with the exception of December), and begin
promptly at 1:00 pm. Eligible applicants need only bring a valid photo ID (e.g.
Driver's License, State ID, Passport).
Please be advised that
the reduced-fare TAP card process through Metro Customer Centers may take up to
Yes, students are
eligible for a discounted pass on Big Blue Bus, and discounted passes and
single-ride trips on Metro with a Student TAP card.
You can apply for a Student
TAP card online, or you can
pick up an application from the Big
Blue Bus Transit Store and submit it to the Metro Customer Center along
with the required documents. Please see application for details or visit TAP’s website.
Big Blue Bus does not offer any specific discounts for college students on TAP, but many local universities do offer student rates on public transportation. Please contact your institution to learn more.