How to Buy and Reload a TAP Card and Get Assistance

September 15, 2021 12:25 PM
by Robert McCall

At its meeting on Tuesday, September 14, Santa Monica City Council directed the Department of Transportation’s Big Blue Bus to improve customer access to TAP cards, while staff continue to study the benefits of a contactless system. 

Big Blue Bus transitioned to contactless fare payments on July 12, 2021 as part of a 6-month pilot program designed to move customers more efficiently on its system, and to further protect the health and safety of customers and bus operators. Customers are now required to make contactless fare payments on board using TAP card or mobile ticket, instead of paying with cash. 

How to Buy & Reload a TAP Card 

Big Blue Bus customers can still use cash to buy and reload a TAP card at Blue: The Transit Store (1444 4th Street, Santa Monica) and other TAP vendor locations in Santa Monicaand at TAP vending machines located near Metro Rail StationsFurther, customers with a credit or debit card can call 866.TAPTOGO (866-827-8646) to reload their TAP card by phone, or download the Transit app to purchase Big Blue Bus mobile ticket with an iOS and Android smartphone.  

Get One-on-One Assistance with Contactless Payments! 

Need help paying your Big Blue Bus fare with a TAP card or mobile ticketSchedule an appointment at Blue: The Transit Store (1444 4th Street, Santa Monica) for in-person assistance with contactless fare payments, or call Big Blue Bus Customer Service at (310) 451-5444. A Big Blue Bus representative will explain how TAP and mobile tickets work, check if you are eligible for free rides and other fare discounts, and help you start riding without cash.  

To learn more about how to pay your Big Blue Bus fare without cash, visit: 

Authored By

Robert McCall
Community Engagement Administrator


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