Beginning Sunday, February 14, Big Blue Bus will resume fare collection and front door boarding on all buses. In March 2020, we suspended fare payment and required customers to board through the rear doors, to support social distancing between Operators and customers.
Big Blue Bus has retrofitted its fleet with protective, plexiglass barriers for Operators. The barriers, along with other on-board safety measures - rigorous cleaning, mandatory face coverings, physical distancing, and capacity limits - help ensure that fare collection and front door boarding can safely resume, with minimal contact between Operators and customers.
Learn about contactless ways to pay your fare onboard, and the precautions we are taking to protect customers and Operators:
Save with Contactless Payments!
Big Blue Bus paper pass sales have been discontinued, as part of a phased pilot program to study cashless boarding. Paper passes will still be accepted on board, but customers are strongly encouraged to make contactless fare payments with TAP or a mobile ticket. In addition to speeding up boarding, contactless payments help protect customers and Operators from the spread of COVID-19.
Still not convinced contactless is the way to go? For a limited time, we have discounted Single Ride fares for those making contactless payments. When paying with TAP or a mobile ticket, Regular customers can ride Big Blue Bus for only $1 each way; Senior/Disabled/Medicare (S/D/M) customers ride for just $0.40.
Here’s how to start saving with contactless payments:
If you rode transit before the pandemic and paid with cash, then you know how difficult carrying cash and coins can be while on the go. TAP eliminates the burden of carrying exact change, by offering a single, durable and reusable card that works as your transit pass.
TAP cards are secure and smart, and can be loaded with Stored Value (valid on any TAP-participating transit agency) or a Big Blue Bus pass for seamless travel throughout the Westside and LA County.
What’s Stored Value?
Stored Value is a specified amount of money that you load onto your TAP card. (It's similar to how you might load cash onto a prepaid gift or debit card, except this card pays for your transit rides!) When boarding a bus or train, simply use your pre-loaded card to pay your fare - the cost of the ride is automatically calculated and deducted from the balance on your card.
Stored Value is accepted on 26 TAP-participating transit agencies in LA County, including Big Blue Bus, Metro, Culver CityBus, and Foothill Transit. For a complete list of agencies that accept TAP, visit: taptogo.net/TAPAgencies
How do I pay with Stored Value on Big Blue Bus?
That’s easy! As soon as you board the bus, look for the validator on your right-hand side (it’s a small black box with a blue circle that reads “TAP”). Hold your TAP card on or near the validator, until the screen on the validator turns green; if a red screen appears, that means you need to load your card with Stored Value, or a Big Blue Bus pass.
Need to transfer to a different agency to complete your trip? No problem! Use your Stored Value on your TAP card to transfer between agencies for just $0.50 (or $0.25 for Senior/Disabled/Medicare customers) -- you can read more about transfers here: bigbluebus.com/fares/interagency-transfers
How do I load Stored Value on my Card?
You can load Stored Value on your TAP card in several convenient ways:
Note: Youth and S/D/M customers must apply to receive a Reduced Fare TAP card, in order to receive a discounted rate on Big Blue Bus. Applications can be completed in-person or online, and eligible applicants typically receive their personalized card in the mail within 8 weeks. For more details, visit: bigbluebus.com/fares
You can now pay your fare on TAP using your iPhone, Apple Watch, or Android device instead of a physical card! Use the app to buy Stored Value and Big Blue Bus passes from anywhere, and pay on board with your mobile device. For more details, visit: taptogo.net/tap-app
Mobile tickets offer an easy, convenient, and contactless fare payment option for Big Blue Bus customers. Tickets can be purchased through Transit (our official app), Token Transit, and coming soon other third-party apps available for iOS and Android smartphones. Big Blue Bus Single Rides and passes can be purchased in the app for immediate use or stored for future trips.
How do I pay with a mobile ticket on Big Blue Bus?
As the bus approaches, activate your mobile ticket in the app (note that an internet connection is required to purchase a mobile ticket). Once onboard, follow instructions in the app to validate your ticket with the validator (a small white and blue box located next to the farebox that reads “TT”), or by showing your ticket to the Operator.
Note: Big Blue Bus’s mobile tickets are designed to be clearly visible beyond 6-feet, making it easy for Operators visually validate tickets at a safe distance.
If using the validator, it will beep to verify your ticket is valid, and your phone will flash green (Regular ticket) or blue (Reduced Fare ticket). If the validator does not beep, your ticket may be invalid, or you may be required to show your ticket to the Operator.
Learn how to buy and pay your fare with the Transit app:
Mobile Tickets for Youth & S/D/M
To purchase reduced fare mobile tickets, Youth and S/D/M customers must first visit Blue: Transit Store to verify eligibility, using one of the following valid forms of identification:
Current report card,
current valid school ID, class schedule with total number of units, official
letter from school verifying enrollment, birth certificate, OR valid
passport, California ID card, OR California driver’s license
Valid California ID
card, California driver’s license, Senior TAP Card, OR passport
(1) Valid California
ID card, California driver’s license OR passport, AND
(2) Valid LACTOA TAP
ID Card, Medicare card, California DMV Placard, Braille ID cards, OR ACCESS
Services TAP Card
Medicare card (NOT
Medicare supplement or Medi-Cal card is not accepted.)
For more details about mobile tickets, visit: bigbluebus.com/eticket
Keeping You Moving Safely
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we’ve implemented changes to how you ride, including more rigorous cleaning procedures, mandatory face coverings and social distancing, passenger limits, and more.
To learn about all that we’re doing to protect the health of our customers and staff, visit: bigbluebus.com/welcomeback. We look forward to serving you when you’re ready to ride!