A Week With TAP

January 31, 2009 at 1:30 pm in Mass Transit, Transportation

I have been using the new Metro TAP card for a week now.  For the most part, I like it.  But, as with anything new and untested, I already have a list of areas that could use some improvement.

It isn’t always clear or convenient to TAP in when transferring from one line to the next.  At first, I figured it didn’t matter because I had paid for the entire week.  But I soon discovered by reading other people’s blogs about the whole system that the Metro can fine a rider for evasion of paying the fare if they fail to TAP in during a leg of their journey.  There’s a massive disconnect for me there.  How am I evading paying a fare when I’ve paid for the entire week?  It makes no sense.

The next bit of frustration I experienced was when I tried to register my TAP card so I could refill it via the internet.  I had already set up an account on a previous date.  But when I went to register my card, I couldn’t get it to work with that account.  Further, it seems that only monthly pass refills are available online.  As a fully jacked in participant of the digital world who relies upon the internet to function in many ways, being able to do such transactions would be ideal.  Yes, I understand that we can do it at any Metro station or the stores where the TAP cards are purchased but being able to fill my card on a Sunday night before a crazy week is far more convenient.

I think the TAP card has potential.  I still like it better than having tons of little pieces of paper filling my purse and pockets every week.

Overall, I’m starting to understand how illogical the entire Metro system is after listening to my New York City boyfriend talk about his experience in Gotham.  There is simply no way to cheat on fares without putting in some serious effort.  Everything is laid out in a practical, obvious fashion.  But many things in Los Angeles suffer from flash and style over substance.  It’s just how we do things here.  Unfortunately, in the case of public transportation, it doesn’t serve us well.

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