Easing The Transition From Tokens To TAP Cards

easing transition tokens TAP cards commuting los angeles

Public transportation boards all over the world have been changing the way we commute. The reason this change is so expansive is that a new digital technology is being implemented into systems that once functioned in a very basic way. 

Whether or not you’re a fan of welcoming new technology, the usual situation applies: once it’s here, there’s no turning back. For those who like to be prepared, or those who take a special interest in the latest technological developments, the following primer on digital transit passes will help you adjust when the new system gets implemented in your town – or provide you with a tip if it’s already there! 

You may have already visited a city that uses electronic transit passes – like TAP in Los Angeles – and has decided to phase out the more traditional payment systems like tokens or tickets – but some large cities have only recently introduced this new technology. This is because such a major change can pose obstacles for both passengers and administration regarding the electronic ticketing payment method. 

For many years, all you needed was the correct change to ride the bus or gain access to the subway. Soon, transit authority commissions realized that the cost of manufacturing tokens and tickets is outweighed by the amount of use it encourages in transit riders. 

Transit And Technology 

Transit commissions employ a system where they acquire equipment from a company like Avon Security Products – who sell digital card printers to a vast array of industries – in order to print their own wireless cards containing small amounts of data and security technology. One convenient part of the relationship between professional ID card suppliers and metropolitan transit boards is that the same technology can be used for both transit passes and the ID badges that are worn by transit employees. 

The Proof-Of-Payment System 

One of the major conveniences of the TAP system is that it no longer requires commuters to have a personal exchange with a transit employee in order to access a vehicle. This is because digital card readers can be implemented in many more areas (like the back door of a bus) than tokens or tickets. While the downside to this perk may be the loss of a more socially interactive transit system, the time that’s saved by avoiding lineups is very beneficial to the efficient functioning of the system as a whole. 

Ease Of Access 

The second best part of electronic transit passes (after time saved) is that you no longer have to deal with finding miniscule tokens or carrying a million little bits of paper when keeping track of tickets and transfers. An electronic system will automatically keep track of how you’ve used your card at all times so that the only thing you have to keep track of is your card. The card itself is about the same size as a credit card and works in the same way as contactless purchasing. This means you can usually scan your card over the reader without even removing it from your wallet. 

If you weren’t a fan of new technology before, perhaps you will be after having read about all of the benefits involved in switching to an electronic transit pass. Usually when a city starts to introduce this technology, citizens are given the option to purchase their new pass card online and have it mailed to their home. So keep a watchful eye on developments in your city and step into the future of transit as soon as you’re able!


I hope you enjoyed this blog post about the process of easing the transition from tokens to TAP cards commuting in LA.

Interested in more articles about the business of transportation?

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