New Metro Policies Pose Problems For Students


Coretta Wilkinson, Reporter

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Los Angeles Metro Buses were free to ride. Now, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Authority has resumed collecting fares.

In March 2020, amidst the implication of social distancing, the Metro bus stopped. Metro Bus riders socially distanced themselves by boarding and exiting through rear doors only.

Sophomore Victoria Eisenstein rides the 33 Metro bus and uses a TAP card provided by school.

“It’s been very helpful,” she said. “My mom works on Tuesdays 24 hours, so I have to go to school on the bus and come home on that bus.”

Eisenstein thinks that the GoPass TAP card, a monthly bus pass that grants people unlimited bus access, is nice to use for going to school. Occasionally, she will ride the bus to get to tutoring sessions or go somewhere after school.

The GoPass Fairless Pass Program is available to students at K-12 schools and community colleges. Students can ride Metro and other systems anywhere they choose when registered with a GoPass TAP card.

“So far, it’s been very helpful that I don’t have to use a lot of money,” said Eisenstein, “Sometimes, my mom doesn’t even have change or have time to give me change.”

Tap Cards have been high in demand since the new fare change. The Attendance Office has given out 500 cards and they recently ordered 300 more.

Regarding students’ attendance, attendance office employee Patricia Austin says, “It hasn’t changed, but a lot of that could be because we have our COVID absences,” she continued, “We have the most absences we’ve ever had.”

Students have been absent due to the Omicron variant. “It wouldn’t be fair to make that analysis until we have all of our recent students returning,” said Austin.

A regular fare for a one-way trip on a bus or rail is now $1.75. Fares for students in high school cost $1.00. Passes are 50 percent off until July 20 with other discounts included.

If you’d like to register for a GoPass TAP card, visit these pages on the Metro website or the Venice High website to register.