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All-Door Boarding Coming Soon to Metro Buses Systemwide

Metro is installing TAP card readers by this December, with all-door boarding coming soon after. Faster boarding means faster buses.

Last month, SBLA spotted new backdoor TAP validators installed on the 603 bus. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog

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Metro is adding TAP fare card validators at the back doors of all its buses. Soon riders will be able to skip lines at the front door, instead boarding any door along the bus.

All-door boarding is common on many transit systems, including in the San Francisco Bay Area. The SFMTA found that all-door boarding resulted in shorter dwell times (which decreased by an average of 38 percent systemwide), faster bus speeds, and reduced fare evasion. Metro's own 2017 analysis anticipates that all-door boarding will reduce Metro operations costs. All-door boarding may also improve bus operator safety (a recent Metro focus after several assaults against drivers) as it eliminates fare enforcement interactions.

Metro began limited all-door boarding in 2018; it is currently in effect on two bus routes - Vermont Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard - plus the J (Silver) Line Bus Rapid Transit.

Metro touted funding for bus mobile validators in the FY23-24 budget - via May 2023 presentation

Metro's current annual budget funds TAP card validators in support of all-door boarding systemwide.

Metro spokesperson Tracy Smith told SBLA that "the mobile validators are currently being installed on the rear doors of the buses." Per Smith, "we anticipate having all buses completed by the end of the year [December 2024]" then "we will start all door boarding throughout the bus network."

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