Los Angeles

You Could Soon Pay for Your Metro Trip With a Smartphone

Officials said the app would work as a virtual TAP card with the ability to tap and pay fares with a smartphone.

Metro riders may soon be able to pay for their trips through a smartphone app, with the Cubic Corp. announcing Wednesday it has been awarded a contract with the transit agency to develop the device.

Cubic is the company that designed and developed Metro's TAP card system, but riders using the app after it is developed should have the option to forgo the card while gaining other perks through the mobile app, which is expected to be available sometime in 2018.

"We're thrilled to grow our partnership with Metro by collaborating on these innovations for the TAP program to provide improved and more convenient services for our customers," said Matt Cole, president of Cubic Transit Systems, a division of the Cubic Corp. "We look forward to continuing working with Metro's TAP team to drive shared mobility initiatives across the Los Angeles region."

TAP links 24 transit agencies across the Los Angeles region and the mobile app will provide travelers with new tools, including allowing TAP account balances to be used for third-party services such as ride or bike sharing, parking and fare subsidy programs.

Cubic officials said the app would work as a virtual TAP card with the ability to tap and pay fares with a smartphone, along with receiving an account balance, loading the card with payments, and receiving service-related alerts, including real-time arrival times for buses and trains.

"This is an exciting time for the TAP program, because with the addition of new apps and connecting features, customers will be able to get the latest commute information, make a fare purchase, use their mobile device as a TAP card and complete their journey using transit, bikeshare or other multi- modal programs," said David Sutton, executive officer at Metro.

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