BBB accepts even more products on TAP cards, including: Stored Value, EZ transit passes, Access and ALL BBB passes are now on TAP!
TAP is a durable plastic card that can be used again and again. Load your TAP card with Stored Value (good on any transit agency) or the proper fare media ahead of time for seamless travel throughout LA County. Load a pass, interagency transfer or Stored Value before boarding. Simply tap your card on the mobile validator as you enter 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 fares on TAP (including a TAP card if you need one - a $1- $2 fee applies the first time you purchase the card) 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 purchase EZ transit passes on TAP at a reduced rate, but you'll need a special TAP card. For details and applications, visit taptogo.net.
Fares available on TAP
- All regular BBB Passes including Day Pass, 30-Day Pass, 30-Day Rapid 10 Express Pass, 7-Day Pass and 13 Rides Pass. All reduced-rate passes can also be loaded on TAP cards - however, users must have the appropriate reduced-fare TAP card to add discounted fare media. For details and applications, visit taptogo.net.
- 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 Santa Monica Big Blue Bus.
- Stored Value is a pay-per-ride option. Stored Value is recommended for riders who would like to pay for their Big Blue Bus cash fare or transfer to other TAP-participating transit agencies. When you tap your card, the correct fare will be automatically deducted.*
If you qualify as a Senior, Disabled or Medicare rider, you can purchase EZ transit passes on TAP at a reduced rate, but you'll need a special TAP card. For details and applications, visit taptogo.net
*Rapid 10 customers will need to pay $1.25 upgrade fee in cash.
TAP Customer Service Information
BBB will do our best to assist customers with TAP questions, but most TAP customer service is handled through their Customer Service Center.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
TAP General Questions:
What is TAP?
What are the benefits of TAP?
Where is my TAP card accepted?
Can I use my TAP card for Interagency Transfers?
Where can I purchase and reload my TAP card?
How much does the TAP card cost?
Can I buy BBB fare media (BBB Day Pass, 30 Day Pass, 7 Day Pass or 13 Ride Pass) on a TAP card?
How to I pay my $1.25 Rapid 10 upgrade fee?
How do I use TAP?
Can I allow others to use my TAP card?
I am a Metro Annual Pass holder, does that include my fare on BBB?
How do I pay my fare if the TAP validator is missing or out of order?
Questions about Reduced Rate Programs for Seniors, Disabled Customers and Students
I Qualify for BBB's Senior/Disabled/Medicare discounted rates. Can I still receive discounts using a TAP card?
How do I get a Senior or Disabled reduced-fare TAP card?
I am an elementary, middle or high school student. Can I receive discounts with TAP?
I am a college student. Can I take advantage of any TAP discounts?
TAP is a durable, eco-friendly, plastic card that contains state-of-the-art smart chip technology designed to improve your transit experience. While not a pass in itself, the TAP card allows customers to electronically purchase Stored Value and many types of local and regional transit passes to be used on participating local and regional carriers as applicable.
TAP offers convenience and security. Its smart chip technology allows for free balance protection and the ability to deduct exact fare amounts to expedite boarding time. TAP makes it easier to connect with other municipal transit systems. TAP also offers destination discounts from area merchants.
BBB riders will also benefit in the following ways:
- Regional riders using EZ transit passes who transfer between systems will benefit immediately. Customers will no longer need to show their Big Blue Bus Operator a sticker. Instead, EZ transit pass customers can simply tap their card and walk on board.
- BBB customers can pre-pay using Stored Value or other BBB passes (passes must be pre-loaded before travel) and will not need to search for cash.
- All customer Interagency Transferss will benefit from faster boarding times. Paying cash fares tends to be slow. The more users pay with Stored Value and other fare media on TAP, the faster we can board passengers onto the bus and the faster we can get back on the road. Trips will be faster... for everyone.
- Customers can register their TAP cards on taptogo.net. This allows them to set up balance protection in case the card is lost, and set Stored Value to automatically recharge when the amount drops below a certain threshold.
TAP cards are accepted on all transit agencies in LA County with appropriate fares loaded on them. TAP cards can hold different types of passes, transfers, zone passes and Stored Value to make travel easy for seamless travel throughout the greater Los Angeles area.
You can use your TAP card for transfers between Metro Rail and Big Blue Bus. Transfers between BBB and Metro Buses or Municipal bus lines still utilize paper transfers. Please visit our Interagency Transfers page for more information.
Please note: Big Blue Bus does not accept transfers from one BBB to another BBB.
You can purchase your TAP card at BBB's Transit Store (1334 5th Street, Santa Monica), online, or at any of the TAP retail locations. Remember, you must load a pass or Stored Value on your TAP card to ride with valid fare.
Once you have your TAP card, you can reload it as many times as you'd like with passes or Stored Value through any TAP retailer or vending machine (TVM), online at taptogo.net, or over the phone by calling 866.TAPTOGO (866.827.8646). Online and phone fare orders may take up to 45 minutes to be ready on BBB, 24-48 hours to be ready on buses from other agencies that have farebox TAP validators, and up to 1 hour to be ready at Metro Rail stations.
**Note: Customers who qualify for Senior or Disabled reduced fares must apply for a special TAP card through the TAP Customer Service Center. You may do this in person at one of the TAP locations or by mail. More information can be found here.
The first time you purchase your regular fare TAP card, the extra charge for the card is $2. As long as you reload the same card, there is no additional charge for the card itself. If you lose the card (and haven't set up Balance Protection) you will have to pay for a new card.
Yes, all BBB passes are available to load on TAP cards.
** Senior and Disabled Customers - in order for TAP to deduct your reduced rate fares properly, you must apply for and use a special reduced-fare TAP card from a TAP Customer Service office or by mail - see more information here.
At this time, customers paying with TAP Stored Value, EZ transit passes or other BBB passes will tap once and then pay the upgrade fee with $1.25 in cash. Note, some types of passes do NOT require the upgrade fee.
Please inform your bus operator if you are holding one of the following types of passes that do not require the upgrade fee:
- EZ transit pass holders with a Zone 1 or higher
- 30-Day BBB Rapid 10 Express passes
It's easy. 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 add value or the appropriate transit agency pass to the card before boarding.
TAP cards are specific to each user. Each rider 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 BBB must either pay their fare using Stored Value added to their Annual Pass on TAP or add an EZ transit pass (plus zones, if applicable).
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 S/D/M BBB reduced fare passes, as well as Stored Value. If you choose to use Stored Value to ride Metro or BBB, the TAP system will automatically charge you the reduced rate for each trip.
You can apply online or through the TAP Office (either by mail or in person). You can pick up a paper application at BBB's Transit Store at 1334 5th Street, Santa Monica or link to the online application here. You will also need a copy of a photo ID and a head shot photo on photo paper (please see application for details).
Big Blue Bus also hosts frequent "sign-up" events where we help older adults complete their applications and send them through the TAP office. Please call us to find out about our next sign-up event.
Please be advised that the Reduced Fare TAP process through Metro Customer Service Centers may take up to 10 weeks.
Yes, students are eligible for discounted passes on BBB, 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 BBB transit store and submit it to the TAP office along with the required documents. Please read more on TAP's website.
TAP does not offer any specific discounts for college students, but many local universities offer their students reduced rates on public transportation. Please contact your institution to learn more.