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LA Now Has California's First Systemwide Transit Fares App

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Finally, Los Angeles has a transit app that will let you buy passes and fares on your phone with a debit or credit card and then keep them there until you need to use them. Only downside: it's not for Metro. LADOT's unveiled the new app, LA Mobile, making it the first transit agency in the state with an app like this that will work on all the buses in its system—the DASH and the Commuter Express—a rep for LADOT tells Curbed. The tickets themselves are almost as exciting as being able to pre-pay for your ride—the fare is a colorful animation that lights up like an old-timey flashbulb when activated.

The LA Mobile app is currently on a one-year test-run, says Streetsblog, and it's "unclear" about what will happen after that. One drawback is that this app doesn't allow riders to buy single-use fares; they'll have to buy a minimum of 20 rides and store them up on their phones.

Last spring, Metro came out with a list of cool tech project, still in various stages of realization, that include WiFi and cell service in the tunnels (coming so soon) and a text-based app that will allow riders to pre-buy fares. It would have the reverse of LA Mobile's problem, though, and work only with immediate use fares, like a one-way ticket or a roundtrip, so riders would still have to buy monthly and weekly passes from the ticketing machines. Metro's text-based fare program was scheduled to be launching in pilot mode sometime last March. An app that would allow riders to buy TAP cards and then tap their phones at stations was discussed, but wasn't funded at that time.

How to use the LADOT's new fare-buying app:

· LA Mobile [LADOT]
· Metro Working on a Fare App and 14 Other Cool Tech Projects [Curbed LA]
· First LA Metro Tunnels Will Get WiFi and Cell Service in 2015 [Curbed LA]