Local Transportation TAP Card Explanation

Since the old ‘paper pass’ has been phased out, the TAP CARD is now the sole medium for DAY PASSES, WEEKLY PASSES and MONTHLY PASSES for all Metro rail train & bus lines.  (You can still pay $1.75 for each individual ride).  The TAP CARD is a ‘credit card sized’ plastic card that you can use over and over throughout your visit. To use it, simply ‘add fare to it’ by buying fare ($7 for each ‘day pass’ you want, $25 for each ‘weekly pass’. or $100 for each 'monthly pass'). Note: only ONE person may use each card per day. Only one DAY PASS may be added to the TAP CARD at a time. 

You needn't use the card on the day that you add the PASS to it.  Simply start using the card on the day you wish and the Pass will beome activated for that day and is valid until 3 a.m. of the following day.  For example the WEEKLY PASSES become validated on the day that you first use them.  For example, if you load a WEEKLY pass onto your TAP card on a Monday, but don’t use the card until Thursday, the Pass will start on Thursday (the day you first ‘tapped’ the card on the ‘card reader’ on a bus or metro rail train scanning post).

All ticket vending machines at Metro Rail stations sell the TAP CARD (including the Metro Rail station at Union (rail) Station in downtown Los Angeles - here, the TAP cards are sold in the red/purple and gold line metro rail stations -- not in the main ticketing area of the station.)  You may also buy TAP CARDS from one of Metro’s vendors whose locations in popular ‘tourist friendly’ neighborhoods are listed below.  

You can add fare to your existing TAP cards at any of the locations where the TAP CARDS are sold or you can add fare on any Metro bus.  Just ask the driver to add a PASS to your TAP CARD. You can, sometimes,  purchase a new TAP CARD from the driver of a bus but supplies are not always available.  If the driver has a supply, you must purchase a DAY PASS (at minimum) when you purchase the TAP CARD.  The COMBINED cost for the reusable TAP card + DAY PASS varies depending on where you buy it.  If you buy it on a bus, the cost is $8.  If you buy it at a metro rail station, the cost is $8.  If you buy it at one of Metro's vendors, the cost is $9 ($7 for the DAY PASS and $2 for the TAP CARD).  Note: There is no place to buy a TAP card at (or near) LAX except as follows:

1. At the Green Line Metro Rail Station which is adjacent to the airport. Transfer info to this station is in our FAQs section called “ARRIVAL / DEPARTURE TRANSPORTATION”

2. At the Ralph’s supermarkets at:
i. 8824 S. Sepulveda Bl, Los Angeles, CA 90045.  Phone: (310) 645-2035 (about .5 miles / .8 km NORTH of LAX)
ii. 500 N Sepulveda BlvdEl Segundo, CA 90245.  Phone: (310) 615-0537 (about a mile / 1.6 km SOUTH of LAX).
These stores are open late but they sell the TAP CARD during daytime hours only.  Call the stores to check on availability.  It’s a short drive to either store from LAX.  If you’re relying upon public transit, you’ll need to transfer to the bus plaza adjacent to the airport.  (If you take a taxi for the short ride, it will cost $19 + tip -- the minimum charge for taxi rides INITIATING at LAX).  See the LOCAL TRANSPORTATION section of the FAQS for instructions on transferring to the LAX bus plaza.

Once you purchase this card, you must buy the fare that you want and ‘add it to the card’. One way to do this is at the same place you buy the card. For example, if you want a card with a DAY PASS on it, you would pay $7 and receive the DAY PASS’s fare on your new card. You can add fare (also known as ‘loading value’) to your card in the following ways:

1. Using the vending machines at any metro rail station

2. Using the vending machines at any orange line (busway stations in the San Fernando Valley)

3. At most METRO retail/vendor outlets (listed below).

4. Online at the TapToGo.Net website (Click the yellow box in the middle of the homepage)

5. Aboard any METRO bus (not, DASH buses or Buses of any municipality. like the Santa Monica or Culver City Buses, for example). This may change in the future but for now, only METRO buses will be on the TAP system.

You can buy the TAP card, and (optionally) add fare to it at the  locations, below.  Be aware that these vendors have limited hours during which time they sell the passes, usually between 9 a.m. and either 5 p.m. or 7 p.m.:

1. In Hollywood:

a. (In Central Hollywood) The Hollywood Visitor Information Center on the front of the Hollywood & Highland Center Mall to the right (east of) the Virgin Megastore. The mall is located on Hollywood Bl, just west of Highland Avenue in the center of Hollywood.

b. (In eastern Hollywood, adjacent to the Los Feliz Community) at

i. Ralphs Grocery Store, 5429 Hollywood Blvd

ii. Vons Grocery Store, 4520 Sunset Blvd.

2. In downtown Los Angeles, at:

a. LA Convention & Visitors Bureau, 685 S. Figueroa Street

b. L.A. Dept of Transportation, 201 N. Los Angeles St, Suite #1

3. In the western part of Hollywood (just east of West Hollywood) at the Ralph’s Grocery Store, 7257 Sunset Blvd.

4. In West Los Angeles (east of the city of Santa Monica and south of the Brentwood neighborhood) at the Ralphs Grocery Store, 11727 Olympic Blvd.

5. In the city of West Hollywood (just south of the Sunset Strip) at the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, 8272 Santa Monica Blvd (between Crescent Hts Bl & La Cienega Bl, next to the West Hollywood City Hall.

6. In Beverly Hills (south of Wilshire Bl at the corner of Olympic Bl & Beverly Bl) at the Pavilions Place Grocery Store, 9457 W. Olympic Blvd.

7. In the city of El Segundo (south of LAX) at the Ralphs Grocery Store, 500 N. Sepulveda Blvd., El Segundo

8. In the city of Hermosa Beach (which is between Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach in the ‘south bay’ section of greater L.A.) at the Hermosa Beach City Hall, 1315 Valley Dr., Hermosa Beach

10. In Venice, at: Continental Currency Services, 303 Lincoln Blvd., Venice

11. In Marina del Rey, at: Ralphs Grocery Store, 4311 Lincoln Blvd., Marina Del Rey

12. In Santa Monica, at:

a, Vons Grocery Store, 1311 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica

b. Ralphs Grocery Store, 1644 Cloverfield Blvd., Santa Monica

13. In Long Beach, at:

a. Any Nix Checking Cashing Office

b. Any Continental Currency Services Office

c. Ralphs Grocery Store, 4250 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach

14. In Pasadena, at:

a. Any Continental Currency Services Office

b. Berry & Sweeney Pharmacy, 1377 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena

15. In Sherman Oaks, at:

a. Vons Grocery Store, 14845 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks

b. Any Ralph’s Food Store

16. In Burbank, at:

a. New Village Deli & Market, 211 E. Olive Ave., Burbank

b. Ralphs Grocery Store, 25 E. Alameda Ave., Burbank

17. In Studio City, at:

Vons Grocery Store, 4033 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Studio City

For more locations in these neighborhoods and for locations in other parts of the city, you can look at the complete list of vendors (below) or look for one of the following large retailers who sell TAP cards at their locations throughout the L.A. metro area:

1. Ace Cash Express

2. Continental Currency Services

3. Nix Check Cashing

4. Papa Cash

5. Payless Foods

6. Ralphs Grocery Stores

7. Vons Grocery Stores

Here is a map of the metro area showing the location of all of the TAP Card stores along with a complete list of these locations, arranged in ZIP (postal) Code order (Note: To see the locations, click on the link below and then on the first link that appears folowing the words “...A map of TAP CARD stores...”

The locations on the map (417 of them) are all crowded together when the map first appears.  Click and drag the red circle with the number 417 in it to the middle of the page.  Then, in the upper left corner of the map, click on the “+” sign (plus sign) in the ocean until the map is zoomed in sufficiently to see the various locations.  You may click and drag the map repeatedly to keep to view the neighborhoods you’re interested in.

Okay, click below to view the map and a complete list of the TAP stores:


To look for a TAP Card dealer by the name the city that you’ll be visiting or staying in, go here: http://www.metro.net/riding_metro/pas...