Whether getting to Orange County for an Obon Festival, Gardena for grocery shopping, or Little Tokyo for a doctor’s appointment, a sustainable means of transportation is vital to our daily lives for all of us living in Southern California. Driving has been an integral part of our lives for so many years and has allowed us to go where we want, when we want, and more importantly, without having to burden someone else. There is no doubt why so many of us associate our independence with the ability to drive ourselves. The thought of losing this ability can be scary, but, the recent rise in alternative transportation methods have provided us with options that allow us to continue having that freedom and independence. One such option is through LA Metro.

Tap Card

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LA Metro is responsible for the continuous improvement of an efficient and effective transportation system for Los Angeles County. With over 15,000 bus stops and 93 rail stations, LA Metro has created a comprehensive infrastructure allowing individuals to arrive at their desired locations.  Here are three tips when using the LA Metro.

  1. Use Google Maps to plan your trip. This website will create a unique trip plan for your desired destination through a variety of ways including by car, bike, foot, or public transportation. By clicking the ‘Transit’ icon, Google Maps will notify you what LA Metro bus or rail lines you need to take, as well as provide detailed information such as what time the transit leaves the station.
  2. Purchase a TAP Card. A TAP Card is a plastic card that allows you to pay for your LA Metro fares easily without having to buy individual tickets. TAP Cards cost $2 and can be purchased at in-person vendors, LA Metro vending machines, or online. LA Metro’s base fare is $1.75 for one-way trips, but reduced fares for older adults are available by providing a full-face photo, an official photo ID, and a completed application.
  3. Participate in LA Metro’s On the Move Riders Club. This club partners new riders with peers who can teach you the ins and outs of using LA Metro. The club hosts activities for new riders such as group sightseeing trips and one-on-one trainings.

Fortunately, many of us still have the luxury of being able to provide our own transportation, and are not yet dependent on others to help maintain our independence. However this is a luxury we should not take for granted. Forms of alternative transportation, like LA Metro, can be integrated into our daily lives to begin supplementing the need for relying on our driving ability. Early integration can prepare us and give us the confidence to maintain our independence even when we can no longer drive ourselves.