According to METRO, "TAP" is the ticket. It's the little blue credit card type electronic card that you use to ‘tap' your way through the turnstiles if you're riding the METRO ( Subway) or taking a bus. It's supposed to be fast, easy, and simple to use, and for the most part it is…… that is, once you've done it a few times. Remember, you all have to have a TAP card now, there are turnstiles everywhere, the honor system of the early days of METRO is now but a fond memory.
I recently spent much of a morning at the Universal City Red Line station helping bewildered first timers from Los Angeles, Korea, Scotland, Texas, and other exotic locations try to figure out how to buy a TAP card, load a TAP card, and re-load a TAP card they already had.
The basic concept is you follow step by step, push button instructions . If you don't have a card, you push one thing, if you have a card you push another, if you want to add one trip you push one button, if you want a day pass you push another, if you want to buy a pass for the rest of your life you push another, so on and so forth. Again, once you've done it a couple times you get the basic c concept and it's not that hard, but that first time is quite the hurdle. You can read about this to your hearts content at ( http://www.metro.net/ )
Oh.. you say.. why bother ? Why don't you just go online and do it there? Trust me, go to the bus stop or subway station and do it there. Going on line is no picnic. You could walk from Downtown to Santa Monica in the time it takes you to figure out how to buy or replenish or protect your account, assuming you can figure out how to sign up.
Having said all that, I am a HUGE METRO fan. I take the subway and even the rapid bus whenever and wherever I can. In fact more than 350, 000 people take the subway every day and that number is on the way up. Sure, I took my lumps figuring out how to buy the original TAP card, but now that I have it and have re-filled it , it is as easy to use as designed. I applaud the METRO folks for acknowledging they're having some challenges making it as simple as they ‘d like, and they say the web site is about to be dramatically overhauled as the original contract they signed with the online provider expires. So they're asking for patience.. You know the kind of patience you need when you're sitting in bumper to bumper traffic on the 101 South from the Valley into Downtown LA when you could be relaxing on the Red Line and reading the LA Times in air conditioned comfort.
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