Eyes on the “Street”: You Can Upload Cash Purse Directly to Your TAP Card

Screen shot from Taptogo.net showing the addition of a small cash amount to a TAP Card

Last night, a reader who wished to remain anonymous passed along the good news that users of Metro’s “TAP Card” can now add cash amounts, not just multi-trip passes such as monthly passes, to their card via TAP’s official website.  We should note that the new balance doesn’t load immediately, but will the next time you tap your TAP card.

I checked in on the TAP site tonight and was surprised to find changes there. Some of the extraneous non-functioning sections of the site have been removed and it was cleaned up a bit with even some of the former icon buttons removed and replaced with just text links.

But the big news is when you go the fare products page, it has a button for adding Stored Value. When you click on the button, it shows you the Balance of the card which is selected. You can add cash in denominations of $5, $10, $15, $20 $50 and $100. Select the value, click through and fill out the form, put in your Credit Card and viola!  It emailed me the receipt

It says the fare will be active via TVMs in 12 hours (you tap on the TVM to reconcile after that point) or it will migrate to the whole system within 36 hours. It did mention something about needing to reconcile it within 30 days, but I’m not sure if that only applies to passes or includes cash.

Also I didn’t see a way to store credit card info, set up a future autoload or see transaction history but at least this is a very big step in the right direction.

  • The dude abides

    I added some money to my tap. Yes a step in the right direction, but really rediculouse that it is not an instant process. Why do you have to wait 48 hours for a bus to be able to read my card? I should be able to sit at a bus stop, check my balance and add cash to my card befor the bus Comes. It seems this entire tap system is stuck in the 90’s. Seriously I can do a million different transactions online that are instantaneous. What does Art have to log on the system and approve all orders?

  • Stephen

    Wait until you try to purchase a day pass with your value loaded card. It’s a frustrating exercise.

  • The dude abides

    Ridiculous. I ment to say. Another nasty byproduct of new commenting system or just a failure in my iPad, spell check is random.

  • Davidagalvan

    Can someone clarify this for me? Say I want to load some money to use for a roundtrip bus ride tomorrow (so $3 is all I need, rather than a daypass). How do I accomplish that? Do I load $5 onto my TAP via the website, and then I have to go tap my card at a TVM in order for the system to recognize? Will the machine on the bus recognize my cash purse?

  • From what I understand while the TVMs for the rail and Orange Line stations have access in real time to the TAP database, the fareboxes in the buses only get updated when the vehicle returns to the maintenance yard which is why the lag occurs…

  • Davidagalvan

    Ok. So that would imply that I need to allow at least 24 hours before my TAP cash purse is recognizable at an onboard bus machine.

    Also, is it possible to use my TAP card to buy a daypass at a bus machine? (IE: Say I have $10 cash purse on my card. Can I use it to buy a $6 day pass when on the bus?)

  • Finally. Welcome to the 21st century, Metro.

  • I have been told by Metro that you can, but I have heard from various people that some/many bus drivers don’t know what they’re doing. Metro says they’re trying to train drivers, but many almost never get the request. So the answer is that you absolutely can, but some drivers might not be so helpful.

  • definitely a step in the right direction. up until now the web site has been fairly useless, so I’m happy about this.

  • anty

    This post prompted me to attempt to figure out once and for all why my every metro fare machine I try is unable to add $ to the cash purse. Day/week/monthly passes are not a problem. When I described the problem in a message to Metro customer service, the response was that the machine was probable under maintenance. I should just give up and get a new card, but this seems really silly.

  • Stephen

    Yes, the machine will. The problem I’ve run in to is none, not one single driver knew how to do it. The normal procedure is to insert $6 then tap your card. For a card with cash value loaded they have to hit the day pass button first, then you tap your card and it deducts the money.
    Expect a few frustrating conversations with bewildered drivers who don’t even know that you can load cash on to a card

  • Stephen

    As far as I know there is only one machine at Union Station that will allow you to load cash on to your card. If my memory is correct it’s the terminal furthest to the right as you exit the red line towards Alameda.

  • Anonymous

    Still no language other than English? How typical.

  • Anonymous

    I was interested to read about the TAPReady VISA Card that LA Metro is issuing in partnership with MetaBank:


    Then I did some further Googling and learned that MetaBank may be in some hot water with the Feds:

    Bank Regulators Shut Down MetaBank Payday Loans

    Regulator stops MetaBank from entering into contracts

    BRU members will be happy to learn that, when in Dubai on Hamas-Assassination missions, Mossad uses MetaBank PrePaid cards exclusively!


  • ZB

    The only machines that let you do the cash purse thing are the ones with the green sigh above it that says you can buy a tap card there. Usually I only see one of these per station. Seems to be a roll out.

  • Mitch

    How can we load stored value from commuter program transit vouchers?

  • Alaynaabravanel

    I want to know if i could put money on my credit card and if i put $26.00 to my savings account.

  • StevieD

    Too bad it doesn’t work like the Oyster cards in London. You just keep tapping during the day until you hit the amount for a day pass. Then it doesn’t take any more out of your “purse” the rest of the day.