TAP (Transit Access Pass)

Metrolink to provide TAP-enabled tickets

Metrolink and Metro have worked collaboratively to create a Metrolink ticket that is compatible with the Metro TAP system. TAP-enabled tickets are dispensed from Metrolink Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs) and allow passage through Metro’s turnstiles leading to Metro rails lines and stations.

All Metrolink tickets with Los Angeles County destinations are TAP-compatible, and all riders are required to physically tap their tickets at the turnstiles and validators when transferring to a Metro Rail line. When boarding a bus, the current policy of simply showing the bus operator your Metrolink ticket will still be in effect. Tapping is not required on buses.


What are Metrolink TAP enabled tickets?

A Metrolink TAP enabled ticket is a new ticket that provides customers with access through Metro Rail turnstiles and validators. Tickets and passes with a Los Angeles County destination, along with all Monthly Passes are TAP enabled. A TAP enabled or compatible ticket has a “smart chip” and antenna embedded into the ticket. The “smart chip” technology lets you have a seamless transfer to Metro Rail. TAP enabled tickets have a TAP logo on the upper right corner to distinguish the new tickets from the old.

Where is the “smart chip” and antenna in the new Metrolink tickets and can it be damaged?

The “smart chip” and antenna are built into the paper ticket near the TAP logo.  The signal is strongest when the TAP logo is placed on the TAP reader at a station turnstile or validator.  The “smart chip” and antenna are used to unlatch the turnstile.  Bending or folding the ticket may damage the “smart chip” and antenna, so please do not bend. Credit cards, rewards cards, expired TAP-enabled tickets or smart phones could interfere with the antennae. So if you’re having trouble getting your Metrolink pass to work at a TAP reader, check to make sure you don’t have your ticket layered with other cards or old passes.  Finally, when tapping your Metrolink ticket, don’t cover the antennae with your fingers. If you cover the antennae, the TAP reader may not be able to pick up the signal. To ensure optimal TAP ease, hold the ticket by the bar code side and tap the TAP logo to the TAP reader.

I bought a Monthly Pass before the first of the month, when can I tap it?

Monthly Pass holders should begin tapping on the first of the month that is identified on the front of the ticket.  If you tap early, your Monthly Pass will unlatch the turnstiles, however, it is not a valid transfer if it does not fall within the month identified on the front of the ticket.    Riding on a tapped ticket outside of the period identified on the front of the Metrolink ticket/pass is a violation of the fare policy and will result in a citation.

Why did Metrolink change the Monthly Pass sales period to the 25th through the 14th of the following month?

Metrolink changed the pass sales period to minimize fraud. If you miss the window to purchase a Monthly Pass, please purchase a 7-day Pass.

Why is my Metrolink TAP enabled ticket not working on buses with TAP readers?

Metrolink TAP enabled tickets are not programmed to work on buses with TAP readers at this time.  Please show your Metrolink ticket to the bus operator to board a Metro bus.

Can I laminate my Metrolink ticket to protect the TAP antenna?

No, do not laminate Metrolink tickets or apply excessive force.  Heat from lamination damages the front surface of the ticket stock making it unreadable.

What does the new Metrolink ticket look like?

Tickets that are TAP enabled have a TAP logo on the top right corner.

My ticket does not have a TAP logo on it, is it valid?

One-Way and Round-Trip Tickets that do not have a destination in Los Angeles County will not have a TAP logo and will not be TAP enabled. This is because the TAP program is based in LA County.  Non-TAP enabled tickets are valid for use between the origin and destination stations printed on the ticket.

My monthly pass is valid for the current month, however, when I tap the pass on the TAP reader; it says it expires the following month?

You are only allowed to ride on Metrolink for the calendar month identified on the pass.  The TAP reader may display a date beyond the current calendar month, however, you are not allowed to ride the Metro system beyond the last day of the calendar month printed on the pass. 

My ticket is not working on the TAP readers in the station, what do I do?

Use a Gate Help Phone located near the gates in each station as an immediate remedy to get through the turnstile.  This is a one-time solution and should not be relied upon for damaged Metrolink tickets.  To receive a permanent solution, please visit a Metrolink ticket window at Union Station to resolve issues accessing the Metro Rail turnstiles.  Gate Help Phones are in all Metro Rail stations and the line is staffed during all Metro Rail service hours.

When should I buy my ticket?

Tickets and passes are available all the time, however, Monthly Passes will only be sold on the 25th to the 14th of the following month.  Monthly Passes will not be available outside of this window.

Does my Corporate Quick Card allow me to redeem my Monthly Pass from the TVM outside of the 25th to the 14th of the month?

No, Monthly Passes will only be available from the 25th to the 14th of the following month.  All other tickets and passes are available at any time through the Corporate Quick Card.

Is my ticket TAP enabled if I am traveling to a destination outside of LA County?

All the Monthly, 7-Day, Weekend Passes and certain One-Way/Round Trip Tickets will have the smart chips in them.  Only the One-Way Tickets not coming into Los Angeles area will be without.

What’s the difference between Metrolink and Metro?

Metrolink and Metro are not the same entity. While the names are similar and the agencies work together to improve mobility in Southern California, it is very important customers make the distinction when it comes to ticketing and scheduling.

Metrolink operates heavy rail commuter train service into six counties in Southern California. 

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is the transportation planner and coordinator, designer, builder and operator for one L.A. County. They operate light rail, buses and van pool throughout one of the most populous counties in the country. Metro is one of Metrolink’s five member agencies and is responsible for the majority of its funding, based on the number of miles in Los Angeles County. Their website is www.metro.net

What is a TAP card?

All Metro passes and stored value are now sold on TAP, a durable plastic card that can be used for an extended period of time. Each TAP card has an electronic chip inside; just load the type of pass with the amount you want on your card, and the chip remembers it. Then you simply tap your card each time you board a Metro Rail or bus, and the bus farebox or rail validator looks for valid pass first. This is not valid on Metrolink trains.