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Metro Already Started Fare Capping, Before Official Start this Saturday

Metro transit riders can now pay as you go for daily ($5) and weekly ($18) transit passes

1:49 PM PDT on June 29, 2023

Once Metro riders reach a daily ($5) or weekly ($18) limit, turnstiles display “Ride FREE Today!” Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog

As of Saturday July 1, Metro will officially provide a great new feature for transit riders: fare capping. Instead of having to pay for daily or weekly passes up front, Metro riders can pay-as-you-go. Once a rider reaches a daily or weekly pass dollar value, subsequent rides are free.

For details and instructions on all the changes, see Metro’s explainer or earlier SBLA coverage. A few tips:

  • two hours of free transfers remain
  • discounted fares (seniors, etc.) cap at discounted caps
  • nothing changes for students already riding free
  • the old 75-cent freeway bus “Express Freeway Premium Charge” goes away.

Starting last week, Streetsblog noticed that when using a TAP card at Metro rail stations, a new message appeared. Metro fare deducted had been “applied to fare cap.”

Since last week, Metro turnstile displays state that fare deducted has been “Applied to Fare Cap”

Last Saturday, Streetsblog bounced between the Gold Line track completion event, lunch in Little Tokyo, a play date at L.A. State Historic Park, and another downtown errand. By the end of the day, after reaching the daily limit of $5 (which takes just three $1.75 rides), turnstiles displayed “Ride FREE Today!” Each successive Metro ride was free.

It’s not clear why Metro quietly started fare capping ahead of the official start date. Perhaps it is to give riders earlier credit toward weekly passes on day one, or to test the new program in advance. In any case, Metro is already capping fares, and that’s a good thing.

Metro fare chart – via The Source

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