By Marcus Camacho
The Transit Access Pass (TAP) card is the better option for students who find riding multiple buses or trains expensive and are wondering if there’s a better way to save money.
TAP is a card that people can deposit money into and use whenever they board buses or trains. Los Angeles transit buses and metro light rails accept them.
The cost of the card is $1. When first bought in addition to the value desired on the card. People can deposit $1.75, $5, $10, $20, $40, $80 or $100.
There are many vending kiosks to add value, but they are found at stations and train stops.
The downside of the TAP card is finding a TAP vending machine to load the money onto the card if you do not live next to a train station.
The nearest TAP card vending kiosk is at the Atlantic Station on Atlantic and Pomona Blvd.
Students can load the card by calling 1-866-TAPTOGO or visiting the website.
When adding value to the TAP card online, it can take up to two to three weeks to get the money on the card.
Card users are allowed to transfer an unlimited number of times from one Metro bus or rail-line to another within the two-hour time period.
Card users tap their cards at each boarding. The system will recognize if the student is within the two-hour transfer window.
The TAP card is helpful because with the addition of the two-hour transfer, students are able to take multiple buses or trains to school and back home for one fare.
The card contains state of the art smart chip technology designed to improve the transit experience.
During a three-day event at Universal Studios, I had to take a total of eight trains and six buses.
It took one bus and two trains to get there and a ride from friends coming back on two of the days.
Without a TAP card someone can spend as much as $24.50 on the trip with a ride back, but with a TAP card that person spends only $10.50.
The TAP card is a great way to pay for a bus fare because students can load as much money as they want and not have to worry about handling coins.
Another great thing about having a TAP card is students don’t have to worry about having exact change.
The TAP card and the two-hour transfer are great tools to help students save money.
Every morning before school, I would have to go to 7-11 and would be forced to buy something to get change.
TAP cards are like debit cards because students can deposit a certain amount of money and can’t be overdrawn.
It can be a hassle to look for a TAP card vending machine, but the TAP card is worth the hassle.
Students that feel they are wasting money on transportation to get to school should get a TAP card.
For more information on the TAP card, go to taptogo.net and metro.net.