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Metro Has $1.3 Million In Unclaimed Fares On Expired TAP Cards

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(Photo by howard-f via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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The TAP card you likely have in your wallet will expire, and you'll have to get another one. Though there is a way to transfer the balance, Metro is currently sitting on $1.3 million in unclaimed fares.Your TAP card will eventually expire, and you'll need to spend $1 and get a new one. Some have a life expectancy of 3 years, while newer ones will last a decade. You should be able to transfer your balance from your old TAP card to your new one, but according to L.A. Weekly, it's not so simple. And because it's not a simple process, a lot of the money gets left behind—about half of it, which totals $1.3 million.

Some people probably lose their cards, throw them away, or—if you're like us—you have a collection from friends and family that have come into town and left their TAP cards behind. So, circumstances like that account for some of the unused funds.

But getting your money off an expired TAP isn't particularly simple. You have to call 866-TAPTOGO on a weekday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 pm. You might have to wait on hold for a long time before you actually get a human being, so some people just never get around to it. A buck here, two bucks there, and the unclaimed fares start to add up.

MTA officials aren't interested in making the system work at actual TAP vending machines because they fear customers might try to cheat the system, such as by stealing TAP cards and transferring the balance to their own. Currently, you can reclaim your balance on a stolen card if you've registered it online.

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So far, Metro hasn't done anything with that unclaimed $1.3 million, though they do have the authority to take back $1 each month on every expired card if they so choose.