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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions on Metro Fare Structure

What is the difference between a 1-Ride Base Fare and a 1-Way Trip?

Both are single fares used to board a Metro Bus. The “1-Ride Base Fare” indicates that the fare is being paid in cash or with a token; no TAP card is required, and no transfers are included. The “1-Way Trip” indicates that the fare is being paid using a TAP card preloaded with a 1-Way Trip product (available at TAP vending machines) or Stored Value on a TAP card. The 1-Way Trip includes transfers to other connecting Metro bus or rail lines for up to two hours to complete a one-way trip; it is not valid for a round-trip. Note that the 1-Ride Base Fare is not available on Metro Rail or the Metro Orange Line; payment of all fares on those lines requires use of a TAP card. (See description of TAP cards below.)

Who is eligible for the two hours of transfers?

Customers are eligible for transfers when enough Stored Value is preloaded on a TAP card and used to pay the applicable 1-Way Trip fare. The 1-Way Trip is available at varying rates to: regular blue TAP card holders; Seniors 62+/Disabled/ Medicare TAP card holders; Students K-12 TAP card holders; and College/Vocational TAP card holders.

How will the free transfers work?

The two-hour period begins upon the first boarding of a trip, when a TAP card is tapped to pay the 1-Way Fare. The customer must tap their card upon each subsequent boarding during the trip; the TAP system will recognize if the customer is within the two-hour transfer window and is making a valid transfer covered by the 1-Way Trip. The number of transfers within the two-hour window is not limited; as an example, a customer could transfer from bus line 20 to the Red Line to the Blue Line to the Green Line, all with payment of a 1-Way Trip, as long as the last transfer occurs within two hours of the first tap. But transfers back to the same bus or rail line where the customer’s TAP card was last used are not permitted. For example, the customer may not, transfer from the Green Line back to the Green Line, or from bus line 20 back to Line 20; a new 1-Way Fare would be deducted from the Stored Value on the card. As mentioned, trips lasting longer than two hours can be made on the 1-Way Trip fare, as long as the last transfer is made before the two-hour transfer window expires.

How will transfers work on Metro bus short lines?

Customers purchasing a 1-Way Trip receive two hours of transfers to complete a one-way trip. If traveling on a bus short line, transfers will be permitted from the bus short line to another bus on the same line to continue a trip in the same direction.

Do the changes affect Metro Silver Line and Express buses with zone charges?

Yes. Single fare prices and zone premium charges have changed. Both the 1-Ride Base Fare and the 1-Way Trip are available on the Metro Silver Line and vary in rate. Customers purchasing the 1-Way Trip on a TAP card will receive transfers to connecting Metro bus or rail lines for up to two hours to complete a one-way trip. If payment is made in cash (1-Ride Base Fare); no transfers will be issued.

Upon boarding the bus ( transferring from a Metro bus to Silver Line /Metro Express), please tap your card on the farebox to determine eligibility for the 2 hour transfer. If eligible and riding Silver Line or freeway zone segments on Express Lines, only the premium charge will need to be paid. Premium charges can be paid with Stored Value (already on your card) or with cash. The premium charge for Seniors 62+/Disabled/Medicare riders is $0.60. Regular, Student K-12, and College/Vocational riders pay a $0.75 premium.

Payment of premium charge is not required for those customers that carry a Day Pass, 30-Day Pass for Seniors 62+/Disabled/Medicare, 30-Day Pass for Students K-12 and 30-day Pass for College/Vocational students. K-12 and College/Vocational students that do not have a 30-Day Pass may pay the 1-Way fare (1-Ride or 1-Way Trip) of $2.50 on Silver Line. On Metro Express Bus, College/Vocational students that do not have a 30-Day Pass may pay the 1-Way fare (1-Ride or 1-Way Trip) of $1.75; the premium charge of 75¢ is only applied if the student continues their trip via freeway zone segments, then a $2.50 total charge will be applied. K-12 Students riding a Metro Express Bus without a 30-Day Pass pay the 1-Way fare (1-Ride or 1-Way Trip) rate of $1.00; the premium charge of 75¢ is only applied if the student continues their trip via freeway zone segments, then a $1.75 total charge will be applied. Transfers to other Metro lines for K-12 or College/Vocational student will be issued only if the 1-Way fare was paid with Stored Value preloaded on their TAP card. Stored Value cannot be loaded on bus.

What about transfers between Metro and other municipal operators (Metro-to-Muni)?

Metro fares do not cover other municipal carriers (e.g. Foothill Transit, Torrance Transit, Montebello Bus Lines, etc.), but Metro-to-Muni transfers will still be available. They can be purchased from TAP vending machines or onboard buses, and are valid for two hours after purchase.

How will Interagency transfers (Muni-to-Metro) work with the new transfer policy?

A customer transferring from other municipal carriers (e.g. Foothill Transit, Torrance Transit, Montebello Bus Lines, etc.) will need to purchase an Interagency transfer onboard that line, and submit it as payment when boarding a Metro bus or train. Interagency transfers can be issued as paper passes, “Limited Use” paper TAP cards, or loaded directly onto the customer’s plastic TAP card. Regardless of the form in which the Interagency transfer is issued, it is only good for one transfer from a municipal bus line to a Metro bus or train. Interagency transfers are treated as a 1-Ride Base Fare and are not eligible for the 2 hours of transfers on Metro. If boarding with an Interagency transfer on Metro Silver Line/Metro Express bus, the premium zone charge of 75¢ will be due upon boarding. Zone charges are not covered by Interagency transfers. Customers boarding with an Interagency transfer and planning to ride more than one Metro bus or train should p urchase another Metro fare to avoid getting a citation or fine.

Will customers using the Silver 2 Silver program be eligible for Metro transfers when paying for a single trip?

Customers whose first boarding is on a Metro bus using the 1-Way Trip will still be eligible to transfer to other Metro lines to complete their one-way trip within two hours of the first tap. However, transfers to the Silver Streak will require payment of that line’s fare. If a customer’s first boarding is on the Silver Streak, transfers to Metro lines are not included. The customer may buy an Interagency transfer onboard the Silver Streak and submit it as payment when boarding a Metro bus or train; or if planning to ride more than one Metro line to complete their trip, the customer may choose instead to purchase the 1-Way Trip when boarding Metro, which would include those transfers. All customers riding with a Foothill 31-Day Pass will need to buy either an Interagency transfer or the 1-Way Trip when transferring to a Metro line.

How do transfers work at Metro’s transfer stations?

When transferring from one Metro Line to another at the same station (i.e., Red Line to Orange Line at North Hollywood Station), the transfer is included in the 1-Way Fare, but you must tap your card on the station validator before boarding the next line in order to have valid proof of fare payment. Transfer validators are located in the middle of the platform boarding area. Transfer validators have posted flags and are clearly marked Must Tap to Transfer as shown below.

What about trips where transfers occur more than two hours after the first tap?

Based on Metro ridership data, 99 percent of Metro customers complete their trip in two hours or less. The two hour window makes transfers simple and convenient. For Metro trips on which the final leg begins more than two hours after the initial tap (to neighboring counties, for example), a second fare will be required. In rare cases, a service delay may prevent a customer from initiating the final leg of their trip before the two-hour transfer window has expired. Metro will monitor the frequency of such situations and adjust policies as appropriate in the future.

How will fare enforcement officers know that I am riding using a transfer?

Customers must TAP their card each time they board for a transfer to be valid. If fare enforcement officer is conducting a fare inspection, their mobile validators will recognize where and when your last tap took place. To ensure that you have valid proof of fare, tap each time you board. Failure to tap your card at each boarding can result in a citation and fine.

Why offer free transfers now when they haven’t been allowed in the past?

Metro customers provided feedback requesting the inclusion of transfers. The new fare structure allows customers to make transfers between bus and rail routes to complete a one-way trip for two hours on a 1-Way Trip fare paid using a TAP card. As Metro’s network expands, flexibility to transfer without paying another full fare will make it easier for customers to connect and fully use the growing Metro system.

Where can I buy a TAP card?

TAP cards can be purchased for $1 at any TAP Vending Machine at Metro Rail and Orange Line Stations. You can also purchase them for $2 from vendor locations , Metro Customer Centers , online at taptogo.net or by call 866.TAPTOGO (866.827.8646). TAP cards purchased from these locations last up to 10 years. A TAP card is always sold together with a pass or Stored Value; empty TAP cards are not sold.

Can cash be used to pay the fare?

Yes. Cash payment is accepted when boarding any regular Metro bus or the Silver Line. A cash payment is known as a 1-Ride Base Fare and does not include transfers. The 1-Ride Base Fare is not available on Metro Rail or the Metro Orange Line; payment of all fares on those lines requires use of a TAP card. Cash can be used to load Stored Value or a pass on a TAP card and purchase the 1-Way Trip fare, but this must be done before boarding at a TAP Vending Machine, Customer Center or vendor location. Stored Value cannot be loaded on a TAP card onboard a Metro bus.

Can tokens be used to pay the fare?

Yes. Each token is valid for a 1-Ride Base Fare. If paying with a token on a bus, no transfers are included. A token can be used to load a 1-Way Trip on a TAP card, but this must be done before boarding at a TAP Vending Machine.

Will passes purchased before the new fares go into effect on September 15 still work?

Yes. Passes purchased before September 15 will be valid for the appropriate period when activated (i.e. 1-Day, 7-Day. 30-Day). Passes will be sold at the new rates beginning September 15; this includes EZ transit passes sold beginning September 15 for use in October.

What are the new prices for EZ transit passes? Will zone prices also be affected?

The new price for a regular EZ Transit Pass is $110; for Senior 62+/Disabled/Medicare customers it is $42. All EZ transit pass prices and zone stamps are listed and will take effect in October with sales beginning on September 15. Sales dates for the EZ transit pass have not changed.

Do the new fares affect the Metrolink monthly pass?

No. These changes only apply to Metro. They do not affect Metrolink tickets and passes that include transfers to Metro.

Are all student fares frozen?

No. Only Student K-12 fares are frozen at this time; their single fare price ($1) and 30-Day Pass ($24) will remain the same. Fares for College/Vocational students are not included in the freeze. The College/Vocational fare (1-Ride Base Fare or 1-Way Trip) is now $1.75, and the 30-Day Pass is now $43.

What kind of assistance is available for customers unable to pay higher fares?

Metro has several programs with employers, cities, colleges and social service agencies to provide fare assistance for workers, seniors, students and low-income customers. These include the Immediate Needs Program (INTP), Rider Relief Transportation Program (RRTP) and the Support for Homeless Re-Entry (SHORE) Program. Metro also works with Los Angeles County to provide pass discounts to residents of Unincorporated County areas through the LA County Transit Subsidy Program . Additionally, more than 30 cities across the County provide fare subsidies to residents. Metro also works with more than 800 employers who provide passes for 24,000 workers – most at a group rate . Learn more information on reduced fares .

TAP (Transit Access Pass): TAP is a durable, eco-friendly, plastic card that contains smart chip technology designed to improve customers’ transit experience. While not a pass in itself, the TAP card allows you to electronically purchase and load passes and/or Stored Value (cash) accepted by Metro and/or participating municipal transit agencies throughout Los Angeles County.


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