Big Blue Bus launches contactless payment pilot on July 12


Big Blue Bus (BBB) will transition to contactless only fare payments starting on Monday, July 12 as part of a systemwide pilot program.

During the pilot period, cash and tokens will no longer be accepted on board. Instead, customers will be asked to pay for their trip using a TAP card or mobile ticket.

The pilot program will study the effectiveness of contactless payments, including making buses safer for both customers and Motor Coach Operators, faster boarding times, and offering more convenient and economical ways for customers to pay their fare.

TAP eliminates the burden of carrying exact change, by offering a reusable card that works as a transit pass. TAP cards are smart and secure and can be loaded with a BBB pass or Stored Value (valid on any of the 26 TAP-participating transit agencies) for seamless travel throughout the Westside and LA County.

Mobile tickets can be conveniently purchased through Transit (BBB’s official app), Token Transit, and other third-party apps, which are available for iOS and Android smartphones. BBB Single Rides and passes can be purchased in the Transit app for immediate use or stored for future trips.

In response to the start of the pilot program, Blue: The Transit Store has increased its operating hours, and is now open Monday through Thursday from 8:30am to 5:00pm and every other Friday from 12:00pm to 4:00pm. The Transit Store is located at 1444 4th St. in Downtown Santa Monica. To help customers decide which contactless option works best for them, BBB encourages scheduling in-person appointments with Transit Store staff by calling (310) 451-5444.

To encourage contactless payments, BBB is offering a free 30 Day pass and discounted Single Rides to customers who pay their fare with a TAP card or mobile ticket. Customers may redeem one (1) free BBB 30 Day pass during the promotional period, from now through Thursday, July 22. BBB will also maintain its Single Ride discounts for TAP and mobile ticket users during the pilot. Regular customers only pay $1 per trip and Senior/Disabled/Medicare customers pay $0.40 per trip.