The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (L.A. Metro) will implement fare capping July 1. Under the new fare policy, riders will pay per ride with a TAP card until they reach their one-day fare cap of $5 or their seven-day fare cap of $18, after which they ride free for the remainder of the day or seven-day period.
The fare capping policy, which has undergone extensive evaluation and analysis and was approved by the L.A. Metro Board of Directors last December, aims to ensure L.A. Metro fares are simple, equitable and affordable for customers so all riders with a TAP card can earn free rides.
Before fare capping, customers could save per ride by buying weekly or monthly passes that required riders to pay large sums up front, which was a burden on lower income residents. With fare capping, riders load Stored Value (money) on their TAP card and pay as they go. The more customers use L.A. Metro, the more money they will save.
“It’s the goal of the L.A. Metro Board to help make things as easy as possible for all L.A. Metro riders, and fare capping is a big boon for Angelenos and the city overall,” said Glendale City Councilmember and L.A. Metro Board Chair Ara J. Najarian. “The cost of transit should never stand between L.A. County residents and opportunity – and this new fare policy will make our systems more affordable, accessible and appealing for every Angeleno.”
The new policy will make all L.A. Metro passes, including the one-day, seven-day or 30-day passes, unnecessary, so they will be eliminated, making the fare structure simpler for customers to use.
Base fares for regular riders will remain at $1.75 while students in grades K-12 will see their base fare drop from $1 to $0.75 cents and college and vocational students will see their base fare drop from $1.75 to $0.75 cents to match the fare discount offered to seniors and disabled persons. All rides on TAP include two hours of one-way free transfers. Student fares will be capped at $2.50 per day and $6 over a seven-day period. The base fare for seniors and customers with disabilities will remain at $0.75 cents during peak hours and $0.35 cents during off-peak hours. Their daily cap will remain at $2.50, and the seven-day cap will be $5.
“Fare capping will save many of our riders money and give them more flexibility,” said L.A. Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “At a time when Los Angeles residents are paying more for everyday items, L.A. Metro is helping them save money on transportation, the second largest household expense on average. This is one of several new initiatives we’ve established to lower transportation costs for riders to make our system more accessible and equitable.”
In March, the L.A. Metro Board approved extending the successful and popular GoPass pilot program to June 2024, which gives free transit passes to K-12 and community college students at more than 100 participating county schools and school districts. Students have generated over 16.6 million boardings on the L.A. Metro system since the program began in October 2021, averaging 1.2 million monthly. Fare capping will not affect students who use GoPass.
L.A. Metro also launched an improved Low-Income Fare is Easy (LIFE) program in late 2021, which offers 20 free rides a month and deeply discounted fares to low-income riders on L.A. Metro and 13 other local transit providers. More than 230,000 L.A. County residents have signed up for the LIFE program, and L.A. Metro has delivered more than 16 million discounted rides under the program since late 2021. LIFE riders will continue to benefit from their 20-ride free product. Once the 20 free rides are used, to ride on L.A. Metro, customers will load Stored Value onto their TAP cards and pay per ride until they reach a one-day or seven-day fare cap.
L.A. Metro has launched an awareness campaign promoting the discounts available on TAP and convenient reloading locations. TAP has also increased the number of vendors who sell and reload TAP cards in grocery stores. Free TAP cards loaded with $5 of Stored Value are also being distributed at high cash-paying bus stops to increase accessibility and encourage TAP use.