uscBovard.png redArrowRight.png redArrowDown.png



TAP Program

USC GSG's TAP Program

Please read ALL of the information below before purchasing or contacting GSG. If you need help or have questions, DO NOT contact USC Transportation regarding this program. Instead, contact the Graduate Student Government through the "Contact" button in the menu on the top of this page, or reach out to the administrator of the program, the GSG Director of Campus Affairs, directly at Thanks!

Sales for Spring Semester 2015 TAP Passes have now closed. The last date for refunds of non-activated Passes was February 6th. If you requested a refund before this date, your request will be processed over the next few weeks. Students who purchased a Pass agree to read and abide by all the rules and regulations of the Program as listed on this page. Sales for upcoming semesters have not yet been finalized; please visit this page for future announcements.

PLEASE NOTE THAT GRAD TAP PASSES ARE NON-TRANSFERABLE and will be deactivated if found to be used by someone other than the authorized purchaser. Eligible students who sell their TAP Passes after activation are subject to penalties and banishment from the Program.

TAP Program

USC’s Graduate Student Government (GSG), in partnership with USC Transportation and Los Angeles County Metro, is proud to offer a discounted Metro TAP (Transit Access Pass) card to all full-time fee-paying graduate and professional degree students; the “TAP Program”.

The TAP Program grants 24 hour, 7 days/week access to all Metro Bus and Rail, Metro Rapid, and Metro Liner services.

Active Dates

The Spring 2015 semester TAP Pass is active from Monday, January 12th, 2015 at 12:01am through Friday, May 15, 2015 at 11:59pm.


The cost of a Pass is $105 if you are reloading a red, USC-branded TAP card, or $110 if you need a new card.


Spring 2015 Purchase Information

TAP Passes go on sale online at 9:00am PST on January 5th, 2015 at

After your purchase has been processed (usually within 3 days of submitting your order), you will receive an email telling you that your TAP card is available for pick-up or reload. DO NOT PICK UP YOUR CARD BEFORE RECEIVING THIS EMAIL. Pick-ups begin January 7th at UPC and January 12th at HSC.


You can pick up or reload your TAP card at either UPC or HSC campus. You must bring your student ID with you in order to pick-up or reload your card.

- On UPC campus, students can claim their cards in the GSG Office in the Tutor Campus Center, Room 224 from 10:00am-4:00pm Monday through Thursday starting Wednesday, January 7th.

- On HSC campus, students can claim their cards in the Seaver Room 101A (between the Seaver elevator and Starbucks) from 12:00pm-1:00pm Monday through Thursday and 10:00am-11:00 on Friday starting Monday, January 12th.

If you can't make it to campus during the above pick-up times, contact to schedule an alternate time to pick up at UPC, and to schedule an alternate time to pick up at HSC. You can also ask a friend to pick-up/reload your card. Provide them with a note stating your name, their name, and your student ID number (and the friend should bring your old card if it’s being reloaded).

Eligible Students

The TAP program is available to all full-time graduate students who have enrolled for the upcoming semester and paid the USC Grad Student Programming Fee.

Refund Policy

Refunds will only be offered to students who purchased a TAP Pass but have yet to pick it up or have it activated. The last day for these refunds is Friday, February 6, 2015. After that date, no refunds will be honored even if you never pick up or activate your TAP Pass for the semester. Please email before the end of the day on February 6th to request a refund. Include your name and student ID number. No refunds will be granted at any time for any reason for students who have already activated their TAP Passes. Note that students who purchase a Pass can pick it up or have their card reloaded at any point throughout the semester- even after the February 6 refund date.


Why purchase a TAP Card?

This program offers students the opportunity to travel to campus and explore Los Angeles in a cheap and environmentally friendly fashion, without having to worry about gas, car maintenance or parking.

Can I re-use my TAP Card?

The specially designed Trojan-themed cards are reusable for each semester and can be filled with a regular Metro single ride, day, or monthly pass if not being used for a GSG semester-long Pass.

These USC-branded cards are required for use in the TAP Program- you must purchase one to participate in the Program and cannot use the generic blue, orange, or yellow cards sold at TAP stations or other retailers.

Where can I use the USC TAP card?

The USC GSG TAP Program is only for use on Metro buses and trains. This includes the Metro Rapid bus lines, the Red, Blue, Green, Gold and Expo rail lines, as well as regular Metro buses (including Zones 1 and 2).

The pass is not valid on non-Metro transit services, such as Metrolink or LADOT transit (which includes DASH and Commuter Express). It currently does not cover transit run by some L.A. County municipalities, such as Santa Monica or Culver City.

Is this program available to recent graduates?

No. The pass is available only for current, full-time, fee-paying USC graduate students.

What constitutes “full-time”?

USC’s TAP Pass is available for all students who qualify as full-time according to USC’s guidelines for their individual program.

Is this program available to online Virtual Academic Center (VAC) students?

VAC students are not eligible to purchase a discounted USC GSG TAP Pass because they do not pay the Grad Student Programming Fee, which is used to subsidize the cost of the TAP Passes.

What if I'm not eligible for a USC TAP Pass?

You still may be eligible for a reduced-fare Metro TAP card through Metro themselves. They have discounts for senior citizens, students, and people with disabilities. Check out the requirements and application instructions at:

How much can I save with this program?

That depends on how often you ride and how you pay for your Metro fare. Compared to Metro’s 30-day reduced-fare student pass ($43/month), you can save at least $60 over the eighteen-week period. Compared to purchasing one-way tickets individually, you will save money after 30 round trips. In other words, if you take Metro round-trip twice a week, you will save money over the eighteen-week period.

I lost my card. What do I do?

1) Contact the GSG office for your TAP card number at or 213-740-5649.

2) Contact Metro to notify them that you lost your card at 1-866-TAP-TOGO (827-8646).

3) Come pay the replacement fee of $15 at either the UPC or HSC GSG Office during the office hours listed above.

Once we receive your payment and notification from Metro, we will email you to let you know when your replacement card is ready for pick-up.

What if I cannot make it to the listed hours to pick-up or reload my card?

Contact to schedule an alternate pick-up time at UPC, or to schedule an alternate pick-up time at HSC. Alternatively, you can ask a friend to pick-up/reload your card. Provide them with a note stating your name, their name, and your student ID number (and the friend should bring your old card if it’s being reloaded).

Can I purchase more than one card?

No. A student can only purchase one Pass.

What if the TAP Machine on my bus doesn't work?

Some buses still have old TAP machines that don't read our USC TAP Passes. If this occurs, you may need to pay the fare (depending on the bus driver) but please write down the route number and the individual bus number and send it to so we can forward that information to Metro to allow them to update the machine on that particular bus.

Will there be a TAP Program over the summer?

We have yet to contract with Metro to sell TAP Passes over the summer and will post any changes to that policy to this page if they occur.

© 2015 USC