You Can Now Pay For Your LA Metro Trip With A Flick Of The Wrist

A limited number of new TAP Flex wristbands are being sold at Metro customer centers. (Courtesy Metro Los Angeles)

Wallet fumblers and purse combers rejoice: the days of rummaging about your person or bag in search of your TAP card are over — if you have $10 and act fast.

After a couple years in development, Los Angeles Metro's new TAP wristbands are now available for transit riders, agency officials announced Monday. A limited number of them, dubbed TAP Flex, are being sold, but only at Metro's customer centers.

The silicone bands come in black or blue and function just like traditional TAP cards, keeping stored values and passes at arm's length. The wristbands work at all Metro validators, gates and fare boxes, and are also valid at all other L.A. County transit agencies that accept TAP.

Metro first began testing wristband prototypes in 2017, studying their potential benefits for riders with disabilities.

Another type of wearable TAP wristband, this one made of elastic fabric, is expected to be released later in August. (Courtesy Metro Los Angeles)

Improving the ease of paying for public transit trips won't stop there, though. Metro officials announced other wearable payment tools are set to be released later this month, including another wristband made of elastic fabric and a mini TAP card for a keychain.

Metro officials added that they're "also working on TAP wearables that can accommodate reduced fare riders."

Soon you may not even need a physical TAP card or wristband to pay for your train or bus trip. Metro has been working on updating its infrastructure to roll out fare payment through a smartphone app. After some hiccups, agency officials expect to launch the new app this winter.