Big Blue Bus Transitions to Contactless Fare Payment System, Santa Monica, CA 2021
5 minutes Date Launched: Jul 12, 2021
Credit: Big Blue Bus
Big Blue Bus, the bus agency for Santa Monica, is piloting a cashless fare payment system. When boarding a bus, customers can pay their fares using a TAP card or mobile ticket through third party apps like Transit and Token Transit. Transit is also the official app for Big Blue Bus. Customers can still use cash to purchase fares by loading value onto their TAP cards at hundreds of approved TAP vendor locations across Los Angeles County. As a promotion, customers can also receive a free 30-day Big Blue Bus pass through the Transit app or by visiting the agency’s transit store. Low income customers can also receive 20 free rides per month on Big Blue Bus through participating in Los Angeles County’s Low-Income Fare is Easy (LIFE) program.
This transition to a completely contactless fare payment system is intended to make the customer experience on Big Blue Bus more user friendly. While the use of card- and account-based systems make fare payments easier for customers, Big Blue Bus should continue to account for any challenges experienced by unbanked and underbanked customers. Big Blue Bus should use this pilot to determine how this contactless fare payment system serves customers of different economic means and how to continue improving its rider experience.