By Jing Ye
East Los Angeles College students can get a free Metro pass called “GoPass Tap Card” and ride all trains and buses in Los Angeles county for free until June 2024.
Los Angeles is known for its sprawling cityscape and bustling streets, and is not exactly famous for affordable and hassle-free transportation.
For students attending classes in the Los Angeles Community College District, the new inititative promises to change the game. This pilot program gives students the freedom to go anywhere, anytime for free on Metro buses and trains.
The program runs until June 30, after which students could apply for a new GoPass or an extension.
The supervisor at the Fiscal Office, Obdulia Carranza said the GoPass might get an extension when it ends next June, but nothing is concrete.
She said everyone is hopeful that is the case because the program is helpful to many students.
She said there have been approximately 7,000 students signed up for the GoPass program since it started in October, 2021.
Students can save a lot of money by taking public transportation instead of driving.
With the rising costs of fuel, maintenance and parking, public transportation offers a welcome relief.
According to the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Transit Savings Report, individuals who opt for public transit instead of driving can save an impressive average of $13,000 annually. This translates to about $1,100 a month. This can provide students with extra funds for various essentials.
For Los Angeles Community College students, this initiative comes in partnership with numerous transit agencies across Southern California. These include Antelope Valley Transit Authority, City of Commerce Transit, Culver CityBus, Foothill Transit, Glendale Beeline and many others.
To obtain a free Metro pass, students can pick up a GoPass TAP card from their participating school’s Fiscal Office, such as ELAC Main Campus in Monterey Park.
Activate the card online or by calling 866TAPTOGO, wait for one hour for registration processing and then tap the card at a designated location to complete activation within 21 days.
For those who prefer a digital approach, the Tap App allows the use of a virtual card on a smartphone. If a card is lost or stolen, contacting the school administration for a replacement card is the first step, followed by activating the new card on the official website.
An added bonus, students can enter the GoPass Sweepstakes, offering the chance to win free tickets to Dodger games, access to Universal Studios, visits to the Long Beach Aquarium or even a $100 Target gift card.
All that’s required is obtaining the free GoPass and entering the sweepstakes online with an email address.
Using Metro maps and Google Maps, students can find interesting ways to save time and get to school using the shortest route.
Students in Downtown Los Angeles can use the Metro E-line from the 7th Street Metro Station to Atlantic Station in East Los Angeles, a 10-minute walk from the campus.
From Boyle Heights, a transfer to the E-line at the Little Tokyo Station can get you to your destination in less than 30 minutes.
Even those coming from places like Montebello can efficiently navigate public transportation to arrive on campus. Taking the 20 bus line to San Gabriel and Garvey, then changing to the 70 busline will drop a student at the doorstep of ELAC’s campus.
For those unfamiliar with the routes, the Google Maps app provides bus information to assist students in finding their way around.