Leave The Change In Your Pocket: DASH bus rides to get cheaper for those paying electronically

IMG_5978DASH bus riders will be able to save 33% off the regular fare starting Saturday, Aug. 1 if they pay with a TAP smart card or mobile app instead of using cash.

The new discounts for passengers who pay electronically are intended to reduce the time it takes to board the DASH buses and increase ridership across the system, which serves more than two dozen neighborhoods across the city.

Nearly 70% of DASH bus riders pay with cash, according the L.A. Department of Transportation, the city agency that oversees the bus lines. But getting DASH riders, most of whom are low income, to pay electronically has been difficult in the past because TAP smart cards, which are used to pay fares electronically, have not been readily available, according to passenger surveys. As a result, LADOT said it is working with METRO to expand the availability of TAP cards in neighborhood stores with DASH service.

Under the new program, regular adult fares will cost 35 cents for those who pay with an LADOT or METRO-issued TAP card or an LA Mobile app. The fare will remain 50 cents for those who pay with cash.

The DASH bus system, which is managed by the L.A. Department of Transportation, is also rolling out several other discounts beginning August 1. Details in the chart below.

DASH bus officials expect the rate changes that favor electronic payment will boost ridership by 12%, according to the L.A. Times. But, if all the riders now paying cash convert to TAP cards and mobile apps, the system could end up losing more than $2 million.

DASH fares

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  1. So what will be the fare for seniors using a TAP card?

  2. If they want people to use a TAP card, they should give them out for free, not charge up to $2 for them — the cards don’t come with any fare on them, unless you pay more to put the fare on it. And they should not expire them after two years no matter what so that you have to buy another. And they should make it easy to load fares on them all over the place — as it is now, you have to go to a train station to do that at one of the machines. If you don’t ride the train, only the bus, you are out of luck, you can’t load them at the bus or bus stop. You can’t even load them online And if you are an infrequent rider, you don’t want to load anything on it in advance — because if you don’t use the card (even if you otherwise pay and ride the bus) for 18 months, they take all the money you have loaded on it and keep it! Yes, they steal your money!

    And they wonder why people aren’t using the cards – even though they already get you a free transfer when you ride, which is not free if you pay cash.

    • TAP cards “expire” after FOUR years, not two years. That’s because of general wear and tear to the TAP card. Think of it like your credit or ATM card, they expire about every four years. Yes, the banks and credit card companies give it to you free.

      But, any money on the old TAP card can be transfered to the new TAP card.

    • Carsmakepeoplestupid

      Who hasn’t ridden a train or bus in this city in over 18 months? That’s some SERIOUS car dependency there!!

  3. Memo to LADOT: it ain’t the fare structure that keeps folks from using DASH, it’s the 20 minute wait times, bus bunching, and/or pissy insane person sitting next to you on an empty bus (yes, this has happened) that keeps folks using their car for most trips. Seriously, it take two seconds to drop 50 cents in the fare box, about as long as it takes to tap a farecard. No big time savings here.

    • Right, no real time savings — but they can charge you for the card, so they make more money accordingly, even if not the big time amount it all adds up. Like I said, if they prefer you to use the card, give it out free. If they prefer for you to use the card, make it simply, fast and easy to add money to it everywhere and anywhere — not just at machines at the train.

  4. Back when i was in middle school i could’ve greatly used the 31-day pass. I used to take the DASH every day mornings and afternoons. Sucks this discount and offers weren’t put in place years ago, Hope kids and teens take notice and use this offer/discount.

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