Metro Board moves to lock gates at Metro Rail stations within next six months

The Board approved a motion by Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky asking Metro staff to plan to lock the gates at Metro Rail stations within the next five or six months.

“I think the evidence is resounding and clear — there are a lot of people who have been avoiding paying their fares,” said Yaroslavsky. “We’re talking about millions of dollars here” in terms of lost revenue.

Yaroslavsky also disputed previous reports suggesting the fare evasion rate is as low as three percent.

Metro tested locking the gates at a variety of subway stations last year. Here’s a staff report about the tests — in which Metro staff said that revenues greatly increased when the gates were locked.

The Metro Board also approved a motion by L.A. Councilman Jose Huizar to establish a working group of three TAP-enabled muni bus operators, three non-TAP enabled munis and Metro executive staff. The group will be charged with solving issues that are preventing some agencies from adopting TAP cards as a form of fare payment.

The more agencies that use TAP, of course, the easier it will be to have a regional fare system and to ensure that all passengers get through gates on the Metro system.

Metro is still working with Metrolink and other agencies to make commuter rail and EZ passes TAP-enabled. We’ll have more details in the coming weeks. 

39 replies

  1. That is a great idea, but what about those of us who have the EZ pass? Will the next five to six months see all paper passes on a tap card? If not, then what is the purpose?


  2. What about people who buy and use the $84 EZ Multi Region Pass? These things don’t have chips or mag-stripes. Many people who go through the gates have valid proof of fare payment this way, but no way for the gate to register it. You folks should have also installed laser scanners to read the bar codes on the back. I think Zev is blowing smoke again, just like when the first major fare hike happened and the transfers were eliminated, claiming Metro was losing money, and there were so many fare boxes with bags over them on buses that were supposedly broken and giving out “free” rides because they were unable to collect fares and creating an artificial operational cost deficit during the weeks leading up to that. This is going to wind up a worse fiasco than the old Zone Fare debacle.


  3. Subject: Locking Metro Gates:
    Question: How do people with “EZ passes” (i.e. Metrolink monthly passes) get thru the locked gates to ride the Metro trains.


    • Hi everyone;

      I know that many of you understandably have questions about getting through the gates with Metrolink tickets and EZ passes. I also know that this is something that Metro staff has been working on and I’m working with staff to get a post up soon explaining this. Thanks much for your interest and patience while I get the info together,

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source


  4. @CSmith

    Answer: From the Metro staff report it states

    “EZ passes accounted for 4%”

    EZ pass riders only account for a small percentage of riders of the Metro system. Why should Metro have to be held hostage and keep losing money to freeloaders for the sake of the 4%?

    It’s Metrolink’s fault for using outdated paper passes and not moving to TAP when Metro has been reaching out to them for years to get onboard with TAP. You should be complaining to Metrolink, not Metro.


  5. @ Gina: Some of them are travelling with Metrolink tickets, EZ Passes or transfers from agencies that haven’t joined TAP.


  6. I’m glad that they are doing this.

    A deadline is exactly what Metro needs to focus its attention on the TAP card, on the turnstiles and especially on convincing other transit agencies to stop with the regional bureaucratic nonsense and start working together.

    Too bad about the EZ Pass, but everyone has been dragging their feet on TAP for ages now. People have had plenty of time to adapt.

    To all Los Angeles transit riders, I would highly suggest getting a TAP card now.


  7. Have EZ pass makes it easier riding training between Long Beach to Los
    Angeles via Blue Line. Long Beach Transit does not recognize MTA Tap, so what is one to do if certain transit companies do not accept Tap card?


  8. How nice FrankM, to literally throw Metrolink riders under the Metro bus. Sheesh. 4% is STILL a lot of riders. You’re right, Metrolink is mostly to blame. We should probably all go down and do a little “Occupy Metrolink” to get our point across. Get on board, Metrolink! I would WELCOME a TAP card, especially if I could just recharge it online every month.

    But let’s not throw the Metrolink riders under the Metro bus.


  9. Q: How long does it take Metro to figure out that fare evasion is rampant?
    A: 22 years (Blue Line opened in 1990)

    Q: How long does it take Metro to figure out how to lock the gates?
    A: Six months.

    And you wonder why America is the laughing stock of the world.