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TAP

TAP

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!

Get started 

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 buy 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 or transfer 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?  


What are the benefits of 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 and transfer with other municipal transit systems.

Where is my TAP card accepted? 

TAP cards are accepted on all 24 TAP-participating 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.

Can I use my TAP card for Interagency Transfers?

Your TAP card can be used for transfers between Metro Rail, Metro Bus, Big Blue 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.     

How much does the TAP card cost?

A regular fare TAP card costs $2. Reduced-fare TAP cards (available for seniors, students, persons with disabilities) 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.

How do I pay my $1.25 Rapid 10 upgrade fee?

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 this transaction.

Please inform your bus operator if you are using one of the following types of passes that do not require the upgrade fee:   

  • Big Blue Bus Senior/Disabled/Medicare Day Pass
  • Big Blue Bus 30-Day Rapid 10 Express Pass
  • 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

How do I use TAP on board your bus?

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.


Mobile

Can I allow others to use my TAP card?

TAP cards are specific to each user. Each customer must have their own TAP card. Cards are non-transferable.  

I am a Metro Annual Pass holder, does that include my fare on Big Blue Bus?

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.

How do I pay my fare if the TAP validator is missing or out of order?

This happens occasionally and we truly apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you. In these instances, please pay your fare using cash.

How do I get a Senior or Disabled reduced-fare TAP card?

Senior and disabled customers are only able to receive discounts on TAP with a special reduced-fare card. This TAP card is designed for Senior/Disabled/Medicare customers and can accommodate both Big Blue Bus passes and Stored Value. If you choose to use Stored Value to ride Big Blue Bus or any other TAP participating agency, the reduced rate will automatically be deducted from your TAP card.

You can apply for a Reduced Fare TAP card through the following ways:

  • 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 12 weeks. 

I am an elementary, middle, or high school student. Can I receive discounts with TAP?

Yes, students (K-12) are eligible for a discounted pass on Big Blue Bus, as well as discounted passes and single-ride trips on Metro, with use of 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.

I am a college student. Can I recieve discounts with TAP?

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.