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How LA Metro’s Boundary-less Fare Cards are Unlocking Citizen Flexibility
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Disrupted by new ride-sharing technology and public transportation alternatives, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) needed to improve their relevance. By setting aside the idea of competition and leveraging the right new technologies designed around the diverse desires of their customers, they used existing infrastructure, tools, and resources to better serve citizens and adapt to their rapidly changing market conditions.

The Imperative for Change

LA Metro aimed to help address the region’s most notorious challenge by increasing the relevance and usefulness of public transportation. They wanted to better serve citizens who had higher expectations, and more alternatives, than ever before. To do it right, they needed to rethink things holistically, leverage the latest data-driven technology, and negotiate win-win opportunities with new partners.

The Transformative Solution

Publicis Sapient provided LA Metro with TAPforce, an engagement layer that turns traditional fare cards into digital accounts, giving patrons access to more mobility options more easily. TAPforce at its core is a Salesforce Community and Commerce solution that leverages Service Cloud for customer support and Marketing Cloud for engaging with patrons via SMS and email.

The collaborative technology is providing benefits for consumers—offering promotions, discounts, rewards programs, and even the ability to load your online balance with cash. Now, more consumers can traverse the region more efficiently than ever before, and LA Metro is looking to expand rider options even further through more useful and unexpected partnerships.


“This wasn’t your usual fare care upgrade. We weren’t seeking to compete more effectively for a shared audience or just process transactions more quickly. Public transportation needs had changed significantly, and consumer expectations shifted right alongside. To stay relevant, we needed to look for a better way to meet people where they were and get them where they wanted to go.”

Robin O'Hara
Robin O'Hara , Executive Officer, TAP Program at LA Metro

The Business Impact

TAP force has helped LA Metro meet the demands of public transportation’s new era. By integrating with third-party alternatives and payment systems, providing cash-based transactions, and offering personalized loyalty programs, they are incentivizing desirable travel habits by making public transportation more accessible. LA Metro has created new efficiencies, provided new opportunities for riders and providers, and reinforced their commitment to equity and customer service. On the first day of the new program, LA Metro onboarded 1,000 new metro Bike Share customers — immediately delivering on their goal of taking more drivers off the road and streamlining access to alternative transportation options for the high traffic region.

“When you go into Starbucks with your rewards points, they don’t just hand you a black coffee. They let you pick from a menu of options.”, O’Hara said. “We built a program based on that same model. And, customers can earn points as they make purchases using their TAP account, which can then be cashed in as credit toward their service of choice. We aim to include Bike Share, parking, microtransit, and more. This kind of functionality is only possible with a user-centric, account-based, comprehensive platform.”

About LA Metro

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) is currently providing lifeline service for essential trips and frontline workers. LA Metro continues building the most ambitious transportation infrastructure program in the United States and is working to greatly improve mobility through its Vision 2028 Plan. LA Metro has proudly pledged to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Health and Safety Commitment Program to help ensure the safe return of transit riders as the U.S. recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay informed by following LA Metro on

Kevin Stark
Kevin Stark
Senior Director, Public Sector