Red and Purple Line riders will see locked turnstiles at four different subway stations for one afternoon each beginning in late September, as the TAP folks continue to move the program forward.
It’s another step toward securing the system, as well as an attempt to get a handle on how many paper passes are still being used. That info will be helpful to the TAP conversion process since in order to lock the gates at some point, all the paper needs to go away. At the same time, the turnstile closure will be an educational opportunity in that passengers at the four selected stations will get a chance to try out TAP and, hopefully, see how easy it is.
During the exercise nothing will change for current TAP users. Nor will paper pass users, Metrolink riders or EZ Transit Pass passengers be required to change their travel habits. All stations will be well staffed with personnel who will tap through passengers whose fares do not open the gates.
ADA passengers, bicyclists, families with strollers and travelers with bulky baggage still will use the wider ADA gates. Those gates also will be shut but will open after the gate reader is tapped.
Gate locking will take place at four stations only: On the Red Line at Hollywood/Western and Vermont/Beverly stations and on the Purple Line at Wilshire/Normandie and Wilshire/Western stations. Those locations were selected because they’re light on transfer activity so there is expected to be less impact on customers.
Before final closure could begin — remember this is just a test — Metrolink and EZ Transit Pass passengers will need to be provided with TAP-enabled cards and ticket vending machines converted to TAP-only operations. Staff also is looking at options for paper transfers.
For more information on the four-week turnstile closure, check out the board report.