Photo by Hunter King/Viking - Dina Tucker, 20, an art history major, swipes her TAP card to pay fare on a Long Beach Transit bus March 2 at the LAC.
Photo by Hunter King/Viking – Dina Tucker, 20, an art history major, swipes her TAP card to pay fare on a Long Beach Transit bus March 2 at the LAC.

By Hunter King / City Style Editor

Long Beach Transit installed the transit access pass, or TAP, on all its buses starting Feb. 8.

The new TAP card system should make public transit simpler for students who transfer from other bus agencies to Long Beach Transit, as most transit agencies in Los Angeles County have now adopted it, according to Metro.

The plastic TAP card is an eco-friendly, reusable alternative to the traditional paper passes. It also is more efficient to swipe the TAP censor located on the left-hand side of the boarding door, rather than present a paper ticket to the driver.

One-day and five-day passes are still available for purchase, but all other paper passes have been discontinued.

Film major Savana Turner, 19, said she agrees the TAP cards are more efficient. However, she still doesn’t favor public transportation, saying, “I always carry pepper spray.”

TAP cards may be purchased and replenished at the Long Beach Transit and Visitor Information Center at 130 Pine Ave. in downtown Long Beach, as well as stops along the Metro Blue Line, or online for $1 plus desired fare. The phone number is (866) TAPTOGO (827-8646).

Full-time college students may apply for a monthly TAP card at a reduced price of $40 from the regular $65 fare. Applications are available online at taptogo.net/reducedfare.php.

Students should be prepared to submit a full-face photo, proof of enrollment, and $1 application fee payable by check or money order to Metro, according to the official TAP website.

Long Beach Transit may provide an inexpensive and less stressful alternative to driving in traffic and parking far from class.   

Julianna Maidana, 20, a child care major, rides the bus to LBCC when she doesn’t feel like searching for a parking spot. Maidana said, “It gives me, ‘me time.’”

More information may be found online at lbtransit.com, metro.net, or taptogo.net.