Don’t forget to TAP



Been on Metrolink recently? The trains have glitzy new tickets, and starting today, you’ll need to tap them on most subway turnstiles to continue your trip in L.A. Turnstiles at Union Station will finally be locked, 13 years after they were installed. (I worry they’re rushing into things.)

This is a good time to remind riders, or would-be riders, that your Metrolink ticket is good for unlimited transfers on rail and most bus lines in L.A. County. In other words, your trip doesn’t have to stop at Union Station.

Pretty amazing to me that a tiny chip embedded in a paper ticket can activate a sensor on a subway turnstile, but it does, because I’ve tried it a few times recently even when I didn’t have to tap. This story has more details.

Metro, which is a separate agency from Metrolink, sells plastic TAP cards (that stands for Transit Access Pass), which replace paper tickets on non-Metrolink travel, i.e., subway, light rail or bus-only trips. For instance, if you drove to Pasadena and took the Gold Line, you’d use a TAP card. Metrolink had been the primary holdout from Metro’s TAP system, but no longer.

In other transit news, Metrolink fares are going up 5 percent on July 1. Here’s the press release. The Weekend Pass, instituted in 2011, will also see a change: It’s still $10, but it will be good for one day only, not all weekend. Well, you knew that was too good a deal to last. Evidently only 15 percent of riders used the pass more than one day, so it won’t crimp too many people, but it will crimp me.

Any reactions to any of the above?


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  • John Clifford

    I noticed the new tickets the last couple of times I took Metrolink to school downtown. While the gates weren’t locked, the tap card elicited the green GO message. Works great. With 2 classes on different days next quarter, I’m sure I’ll be tapping away. Since the paper card reads as am all day card I just might venture to Langers for lunch.

    • davidallen909

      Some Langers fans dubbed the subway the Pastrami Express because suddenly the MacArthur Park-adjacent restaurant was accessible for downtown workers on a lunch break.