New App Lets Bus Riders Pay Fares by Phone

LA city officials hope to eventually have the entire city using the app

Want an easy way to pay to ride a Los Angeles city bus? There's an app for that.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced on Tuesday the launch of LA Mobile, an app that allows riders of DASH and Commuter Express buses, which provide rides around downtown Los Angeles, to pay their fares via mobile phones.

"No more fumbling for change," Garcetti said during a news conference on Tuesday. "You're never not going to have your phone, right? So when you have your phone, you've got your ride."

LA Mobile is available for free on iPhones and Android phones. Users can buy tickets or passes with a credit or debit card and automatically store them on their phones for later use. The app displays estimated bus time arrivals. Reduced transit fares for students, seniors and people with disabilities can't yet be purchased through the app.

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation is California's first transit agency to create a systemwide mobile ticketing application, said Seleta Reynolds, the general manager of the LA City Transportation Department.

Mariano Reyes, a frequent bus rider, likes the idea.

"I think it's creative," Reyes said. "I think the city is doing a great thing for people."

Bus rider Bennett Lloyd said he would love to use his phone for it.

"That’s a lot easier than carrying around a card in your wallet with you and having to get it out every time," he said.

Garcetti said he hopes to bring the countywide Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses on by next summer.

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