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Public Transit


Members of the Caltech community* can now receive a Free Metro Pass that is valid for unlimited rides on all Metro bus and rail lines, as well as many local bus systems including Pasadena Transit. The Free Metro Pass also allows users to access the new MetroMicro service, which connects the Gold Line with the Caltech campus. All active Caltech personnel are qualified to receive a Free Metro Pass.

In addition to the Free Metro Pass, qualified transit riders can also receive 4 free daily parking permits per month to use in the event that they need to drive their personal vehicle (individuals that have a current commuter or reserved parking permit do not qualify for the 4 free daily permits). To register as a public transit commuter and receive your daily parking permits, please submit the Public Transit Registration Form.

To obtain your Free Metro Pass, please follow the instructions below:

1) Submit your application on the Metro website:

2) Forward your Metro confirmation email to:

3) Bring your Caltech ID to the parking office at 515 S. Wilson Ave (click here for current office hours). You will be issued a sticker that is pre-loaded with your Free Metro Pass and affixes to your Caltech ID.

  • For Graduate and Undergraduate students, one additional step is required: Take your student ID with the pass to the Caltech Store to activate the pass. Student passes need to be re-activated at the Caltech Store on a quarterly basis.

*Members of the Caltech community include active staff, faculty, students, postdocs, and affiliates. JPL Personnel are not qualified to receive the free Metro pass

Caltech Monthly Subisdies

Caltech personnel that elect to purchase a public transit pass through an outside agency can obtain a $100 per month subsidy toward the purchase of the pass. To obtain the subsidy, bring your Caltech ID and the transit pass to our offices at 515 S. Wilson within 30 days of the expiration date of the pass. Participants in the Free Metro Pass program described above are not eligible for the cash subsidy.

Affiliate Subsidies

Caltech affiliates are eligible to receive up to $100 per month in stored value on a Metro TAP card.

  • To apply for a TAP card, bring your Caltech ID to the Parking Office at 515 S. Wilson (Please see our contact page for current office hours).
  • Once approved, stored value can be redeemed at the Caltech Store
  • An affiliate TAP card can be refilled when the value on the card reaches $5 or less
  • Subsidy limited to a maximum of one per month
  • Subsidy limited to one TAP card per person
  • Lost or stolen TAP cards must be reported to the office of Parking and Commuter Services in order to receive additional stored value on a new card

Public Transit Lines

Below is a brief description of the various public transit lines that service the Los Angeles Area:

  • Metro Gold Line: The Gold Line connects from the city of Azusa in the east to Downtown LA, running right through the heart of Pasadena. Pasadena bus #10 connects the Gold Line to the Caltech campus
  • Metro Red Line: Connects from North Hollywood to Downtown LA's Union Station. At Union Station, riders can pick up the Gold line to get to Pasadena
  • Metro Expo Line: Connects from Santa Monica to 7th street Metro Center in Downtown LA.
  • Metro Blue Line: Connects from Long Beach in the south to the 7th street Metro Center in Downtown LA.
  • Metro Bus lines: Metro Bus lines service the entire LA area.
  • More info about the Metro lines and a trip planner can be found at
Pasadena Transit:
  • Local bus lines that run throughout the city of Pasadena. Pasadena Route #10 runs between Caltech and the Gold Line Allen Station. System Map.
  • Route schedules and more information can be found at the Pasadena Transit website
Foothill Transit:
  • Local bus service that operates throughout the San Gabriel Valley. Service area map
  • From San Bernardino in the east, Oxnard in the west, Lancaster in the north, and Oceanside in the south, Metrolink connects LA commuters to broader Southern California.
  • Micro is Metro's new on-demand rideshare service, offering trips within several zones in LA County. The service is for short local trips and uses small vehicles (seating up to 10 passengers)
  • The MetroMicro app can be downloaded at the Google play store, or at
  • A map of the Pasadena/Altadena service area can be found at:
  • MetroMicro trips are free to Caltech users with a Free Metro Pass

For more information on transit lines, schedules, transfers, and subsidies, printed materials are available at ERIC in the Keith Spalding building or at our offices at 515 S. Wilson.

Are you looking for a cheaper, easier way to get to campus?