Santa Monica Big Blue Bus (BBB) will be switching to TAP starting in March 2015. On Tuesday, Jan. 27, BBB held their first Reddit AMA (ask me anything), where they answered questions about their services and in particular about the upcoming move to TAP.

BBB is the last major transit line to make the switch to TAP, a durable, eco-friendly, plastic card that contains smart chip technology designed to improve your transit experience. TAP will allow BBB to expedite boarding times with the use of TAP. Customers will now be able to use their preloaded TAP cards to tap and go.

During the online Q&A, Suja Lowenthal and Eric Sink from BBB answered 20 questions in the allotted time frame, with over half in regards to TAP. Customers' biggest concern was, and still is, the issue of transfers between transit agencies.

This is BBB’s explanation of Interagency Transfers:

This aspect of TAP service is a little confusing and it depends on which bus you begin and end your trip on:

  • When you board a BBB bus first:You will need to pay the appropriate transfer fee in cash ($0.50 regular or $0.25 discounted) at the farebox and ask the BBB driver for either a paper transfer to present to the Metro bus operator OR a special TAP transfer to enter the automatic gates at Metro rail stations.
  • When you board a Metro Bus or Rail line first, you may use stored value (if you have it on your TAP card) or use cash to purchase your interagency transfer. Confirm with your Metro bus operator that the transfer has been loaded to your TAP card and then simply "tap" your card when you board your next leg of travel on Big Blue Bus.

In other words:

Transfer Rules Graphic

UCLA Transportation will not be making the switch to TAP immediately and students, staff and faculty will still need their BruinGO! Flash Pass and ID to board BBB buses. The UCLA community can expect the switch to take place by fall of 2015.

For more information on TAP and BBB, please click here.