New platform decals reinforce the message: let people off the train before boarding the train!

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As many of you have noticed in the past week, there are new floor graphic decals on the platforms serving the Red and Purple lines at the 7th/Metro Center Station in downtown Los Angeles.

IMG_3168[2]The intention of the decals is to deal with an issue many of you have also raised: exiting rail cars can sometimes be difficult because people trying to board the train stand directly in front of the doors, blocking the exit route. Some riders have said this makes L.A. transit riders look amateurish compared to other cities!

Here’s some information from Stephen Tu in Metro rail operations about the decals — interesting stuff:

•THE PROBLEM: 7th/Metro is our busiest rail station in the system and one with high turnover due to transfer activity between all four rail lines. We currently build 60 extra seconds into the subway schedule just to account for the increased amount of boardings/alightings at this station. As many of us know, simultaneous boarding and alighting is the most inefficient and uncomfortable method for passenger flow.

•THE SOLUTION: Ideally, passengers should exit the train first, then those on the platform may board.  As a result, Rail Operations approached Creative Services on identifying cost-effective solutions to improve passenger flow and reduce dwell times at this station. After Creative Services reviewed floor graphics throughout the transit industry, and met with various internal Metro staff including Operations, Facilities Maintenance, Civil Rights and ADA, this design was chosen as the best fit for our system.  This is a temporary decal that will be evaluated for effectiveness.  We will soon be testing a slightly elongated floor graphic on the outbound track at 7M.

•THE NEXT STEP: If successful, this program will be expanded to other stations with high turnover and with more permanent material.

So there you have it. My understanding is that the testing has gone well with a few occasional problems in which the train doors don’t line up directly with the decals. Your thoughts, readers and riders? Comment please.

30 thoughts on “New platform decals reinforce the message: let people off the train before boarding the train!

  1. People who want to walk on an escalator should use the stairs that is what they are there for.

  2. I was in Delhi India in December and I have to say I’ve never seen such a chaotic and at times barbaric scene once the train doors open at some stations. I have a video of the mad rush of people trying to get on and off at once. Anyways, what Delhi did at their hub station “CP” was station officials at each and every train door with lines to either side of the door area for people waiting to get on. (There are also arrows on the ground similar to what Metro just implemented) Once the train stopped, doors opened and those who wanted to get off got off, then officials would let the others on the train.

    I do think an inherent problem for riders on the Red/Purple Line platform at 7th and Metro is space. The sections of the platform where the stairs come down make for a very narrow place for people to stand and for people to move around; making egress and ingress at times just a mess. I’m hoping the arrows work!

  3. WOW.

    And it only took 20 years of running the Metro Red Line for Metro to add in some plastic stickers and create some black arrows using rolls of black tape that can be bought at Home Depot for five bucks per ten pack, that many cities around the world have been doing for decades. Way to go Metro for finally getting things moving! Betcha Metro must’ve spent millions of dollars to add in some arrows and spent years in red tape to get this project going along.

    Maybe we can get “stand to the left/right” escalator signs in 20 years? I have high hopes TAP will be fixed in 50 years now! Yippie!

  4. Good idea. Now if they can create a decal that instructs the Blue Line riders to stand back from the boarding area while an Expo Line train is boarding. Anybody who uses the 7th/Metro station has seen this happen. I realize that the Blue Line riders needed time to adjust to having to share the platform with another train, but Expo has been running for 9 months now. Seriously.

  5. “People who want to walk on an escalator should use the stairs that is what they are there for.”; ignorance.

  6. The arrows look similar to the ones in Hong Kong – the MTR uses 8 cars and the train is always full. The arrows were placed to allow passengers exit first. Platform screen doors were also installed to reduce energy (air conditioning) and increased safety (preventing people from falling off the platform)

  7. Finally some order on the platform!! they need new labels and arrows throughout the whole METRO system, better signage would help i.e. next train in 3 mins instead of displaying the time Also Metro should install “Stand on the Right” signs on Escalators, there’re commuters trying to catch a bus or a train!!!http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=stand+on+the+right+London+tube+sign&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=5bpEGepc-fOzDM&tbnid=LxGEroN391TenM:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.flickr.com%2Fphotos%2F30459150%40N07%2F3959675523%2F&ei=S_wdUbe_AqObjAK71YGQAg&bvm=bv.42553238,d.cGE&psig=AFQjCNEOTh67HzjBEbI596qH5f6PnPHUfg&ust=1361006014498592

  8. Would it also be possible to do something about the stairs leading to/from the Gold Line station platform at Union Station? There’s a huge crush of people whenever a train rolls in and there’s always a few clueless folks who block the entire stairs while proceeding one step at a time. I’ve seen whole families saunter down the stairs holding hands while people behind them miss their connections.

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