On Thursday, at the meeting of the Los Angeles Metro Board of Directors, Supervisor Janice Hahn proposed making pre-loaded Metro TAP cards available for homeless individuals or people fleeing domestic violence.
A TAP card is a durable plastic card with a smart chip designed to make transit experience simple and secure. Load TAP cards electronically with regional and local transit passes, Stored Value (cash amount) or transfers. Then tap your card on the TAP target each time you board a bus or train and the farebox, validator or turnstile will deduct the correct fare.
“It is next to impossible to put your life back together if you don’t have basic access to transportation,” said Supervisor Hahn. “For a homeless person without a car or money for the bus, getting to a doctor’s appointment or a job interview can be an insurmountable hurdle. For victims of domestic violence, a lack of transportation poses a major challenge to escaping a dangerous relationship. Making pre-loaded TAP cards available to a person in crisis could make all the difference in that individual’s life and it is something Metro should make available to our service providers.”
Supervisor Hahn’s proposal was presented to the Metro Board as an amendment to a motion she offered Thursday to improve access to the discount Metro fares program known as LIFE. The LIFE program is a newly improved program which allows students, low-income riders, and senior citizens to access discounted ride fares. Her motion, which passed as amended by a unanimous vote, directs Metro to enact an aggressive outreach and public engagement campaign to register more people with the LIFE program.
“Cheaper Metro rides could mean so much to so many people struggling to make ends meet,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “It is our obligation to get as many qualified people registered for this program as possible.”
Metro will work with local community colleges, homeless service providers, the County’s Department of Disability and Aging, and the Department of Family Services to increase awareness and access to the LIFE program.