Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has announced the retirement of Metro Deputy Executive Officer Jane Matsumoto.
According to agency officials, Matsumoto is best known for her leadership in spearheading the decade-long regional smart card-based fare payment system, branded as TAP, currently the largest automated fare payment system of its kind in the United States.
Matsumoto was joined by agency colleagues at a recent cake-cutting farewell reception to mark her 21 years of service starting with its predecessor agency, the Los Angeles Transportation Commission.
Hired shortly before the merger with the Southern California Rapid Transit District that soon became the current LACMTA, better known as Metro, she has worked in various capacities that include senior management analyst and as public affairs officer for the Metro Red Line subway project that runs from downtown through the Wilshire Corridor to Western Avenue, and on Vermont Avenue across Hollywood Boulevard. The completed Metro Red Line currently operates subway service through the Santa Monica Mountains into North Hollywood.
Matsumoto also served as chief administrative analyst for the Office of the CEO before embarking on a 12-year odyssey of transforming a paper-and-coin-based fare collection system to a cutting-edge smart chip embedded plastic card that enables all county transit riders to board buses and rail lines and pay for fares seamlessly on Metro as well as many participating municipal carriers in Los Angeles County.
Metro is run by a 13-member board composed of the Los Angeles County supervisors, the mayor of Los Angeles and his designees, and representatives from the League of Cities. The vision to harness the county with a single fare payment card has, for the most part, been accomplished with TAP and its 10 member agencies. More recently, the board cast a vision to install barrier gates to the previously open, “honor-based” rail system, a project that was also under the direction of Matsumoto.
The regional county-wide TAP program supports over 19 million smart card transactions per month with sales topping $10 million. From students to seniors, corporate passes to traditional monthly and weekly passes, and from cash purses to special event passes, more than 650 different fare products are supported on this single TAP card.
Last year, on behalf of Metro, Matsumoto accepted the Los Angeles Chapter Women in Transportation Seminar’s Innovation Award for the agency’s work with the para-transit community, enabling service provider Access Services Inc. to launch a co-branded Visa-TAP-ASI card that permits the disabled community to ride public transit just as seamlessly.
Agency officials bid her well wishes and congratulations for her leadership and many years of service. Public service is a well understood fact in Matsumoto’s family. Husband Terry serves as MTA’s chief financial services officer; sister-in-law Sharon Matsumoto is an assistant district attorney to L.A. County DA Steve Cooley and is married to Ronald Rose, judge for the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. They have individually served the public for over 35 years in Los Angeles County.
In her retirement, Jane Matsumoto intends to spend her time consulting and assisting public transit agencies to implement similar smart card and advanced payment systems that will further progress into mobile phone-based applications.
Matsumoto’s parting words underscored the importance of being dynamic and nimble in a continuously evolving world driven by technology. She thanked the large crowd of gathered colleagues and staff for the shared vision and dedication that enabled Los Angeles County to introduce TAP to its riders, supporting 1.5 million bus and rail boardings per day.