Gate latching continues on Red and Purple lines. Here's the schedule:

Permanent gate latching at stations on the Red and Purple lines is continuing. In fact, because the process has advanced so smoothly, latching at all 16 stations is ahead of schedule and only a handful remain. Next Monday, July 22, Westlake/MacArthur Park (Red and Purple lines) Station will be latched. Also on Monday, Universal City (Red Line) and Civic Center/Grand Park (Red and Purple lines) turnstiles will be latched. On Monday, July 29, Pershing Square (Red and Purple) and North Hollywood (Red Line) stations will latch. And finally on Aug. 5, 7th/Metro — the last station on this summer’s list — will latch.

Next up will be the Gold Line but a start date won’t be set until progress on the Red and Purples lines has been evaluated. Stay tuned.

48 replies

  1. Glad to see finally Metro moving forward when this should’ve been done from the start.

    But come on, it’s clear as night and day that no evaluation is needed. We ALREADY did this study: latched gates = fare evasion decreased and people started paying.

    We DON’T NEED another bureaucratic study at taxpayers’ expense. Just latch them all up across the system across all the stations!

    And we should definitely require TAP out on exit too. This way, those who try to enter the system without paying from those light rail stations that aren’t locked yet, can’t get out of the system.

    So if a person gets on the Gold Line without paying and tries to get to Union Station, when that person reaches Union Station and thinks he’s getting away scot free, that person will be dismayed that the gates are locked out on exit, prevented him from leaving the system because he can’t TAP out (no TAP-in data therefore, system locks him inside the system, preventing him from reaching his destination)

    • Bob,
      No study is planned. The folks in charge of the gate latching process just want to take a look at how it went on the Red and Purple lines and see if there are ways to make the transition even smoother for customers on other lines.
      Kim

  2. Sorry, “lock the gates already,” but until we see audited figures from Metro that establish how much additional fares came from gate locking and the net revenue/cost when it’s related to the huge expense of creating and maintaining the locking gates, we won’t know how “successful” this new system is as opposed to the honor system. To be sure, more people are tapping but those with any sort of pass aren’t bringing in one penny of additional revenue to Metro but, as I said, until we see audited figures we won’t know whether all of this was worthwhile from a net revenue point of view.

    Second, from everything I’ve read, apparently not every stop was constructed in a way that would allow for gates.

    Third, re locking the Gold Line gates at Union Station: I’m not sure there’s enough room for gates; at a minimum, the fare machines would have to be moved into the corridor, and even then the proximity of the elevator doors to the gate area may not be adequate to meet ADA standards or common sense.

  3. [Sigh]

    And here we go again…

    These days, I think these anti-faregaters are just in it for trolling, coming up with every excuse in imaginable that it’s starting to get ridiculous. What’s next up your sleeve? They don’t use fare gates in Mars? Gimme a break.

    I think Metro should stop posting any comments from these folks. Gate latching is a done deal and it will remain so here on forth. And all they do is whine and complain over and over again because they don’t like the idea of actually PAYING for their rides.

    You ride, you pay, it’s simple as that. No more free rides at taxpayers’ expense. End of story.

  4. Bob Thomas,

    Locked gates aren’t new. Its being used in major cities all over the world. Don’t you think the rest of the world knows how to run mass transit better than we do? What makes you think you or Metro knows how to run mass transit more than cities like New York, London and Tokyo which all have way better transit systems than us yet mysteriously all work perfectly fine under a gated system? If you think you know better than these cities I suggest you go work for the NY subway, the London Underground or Tokyo Metro and see how well your crazy ideas pan out to them.

    No more studies. Stop wasting money. Get all the stations locked now.

  5. Sorry, but as long as Metro is going to allow posts from one side of this issue, then those of us on the other side also get to keep raising our point. The issue isn’t as simple as you would like to make it. The truth is that no one know how many free rides were being taken prior to gates being locked. Of course there are some people who evaded fares (and a few will find ways to do so even when the gates are locked) but nobody knows what that number was. There are thousands of people like me who buy a monthly/weekly/daily, etc. pass and therefore, to you, look like we were freeloading when, in fact, we were not. That’s one reason why the number of people tapping through gates is misleading — people like me inflate the numbers without adding a penny to Metro’s revenues. Thus, as I continue to point out, until we see audited financial figures that can accurately break out the figures, we won’t know how significant fare evasion was.

    What seems indisputable is that gates clog the entrances, particularly during rush hours, when compared to the open system and as more and more people ride, that congestion will increase. More importantly, we also do not know exactly how much the gate project is costing Metro because the agency has never provided a total figure, a number that would include the personnel costs for maintenance, people at the stations, etc. beyond the original lease number. It’s clearly a huge figure and, to judge by a previous story, one that will continue since these gates are being leased. Of course there are ancillary benefits to TAP, including the ability to implement distance-based fares, but Metro never sold the system on that basis. They said tapping will pay off on the bottom line. I and others are not convinced that the net revenue from gates will ever pay for the costs of the project, let alone provide additional net income. To me, THAT is the point. It’s as simple as that. End of story.

  6. Were the Expo Line stations built to allow gates, considering they were designed after TAP was already a thing?

  7. Conservatives hate new ideas and dislike change even if they are proven to work. They’ll find any lame excuse possible to prevent anything from happening. The reason why LA is so backward in public transit compared to world class cities is because they’ve been in the ones in power. Republicans messed up California by prioritizing highways and an automobile centric life. The broken honor system was a Republican idea under Richard Riordan and look at all the mess it has caused. And look at how the whining RepubliCANTS are always the ones yakking about the CAHSR project despite voter approval. All they do is complain and whine about everything.

    Thankfully California and Los Angeles waked up and now Democrats rule everything from top to bottom. With a Democrats controlling both houses in the state legislature, a Democrat as our Governor, and Democrats controlling all the city council and LA County Board of Supervisors, we can finally go forward in fixing everything that Republicans messed up.

    Out with old ideas, bring in new ideas. We must move forward. And moving forward is simple, all it takes is that extra step. Conservative GOPs are afraid of taking that extra step that’s why we keep stalling back while the rest of the world pasts us by.

  8. So how much Cubic stock do you own Mr. Lockthegatesalready?

    There is a bonafide question as to whether these turnstiles can actualy pay for themselves. And we need to know if the Yaroslavsky statement that “Most” of us are not paying our fare is accurate or slander.

    Kim, Why the Gold Line before the Green Line? All the Green Line stations have turnstiles, while many of the Gold Line stations can never have them.

  9. Here’s how I see it.

    If Metro created the honor system and they messed it up badly, then it’s in their ball is in their court park to fix it. Why should taxpayers have to pay for Metro’s mess? Metro ought to pay for these themselves!

    We should’ve done this a long time ago so we could’ve saved money when there was only the Blue Line stations to worry about. Now we have so many stations on the Red, Purple, Gold, Blue, Green and Expo lines to re-fix no thanks to Metro.

    Who was in charge of this stupid honor system idea?

  10. Latch all those stations please, it’s common sense for it to bring way more revenue for metro, provide a safer ride for everyone, an actual alarm needs to be placed on the emergency exit and there should be a fine tacked on to it for using it when not in an emergency. People who pay the fare want those gates locked, people who don’t want them gone. Dear bob, I’d like to see you to successfully test an honor system in New York.

  11. The right answer to “New York, Tokyo, London” is “Berlin, Vienna, Copenhagen”. I think what the example of these six cities show is that a successful public transportation system is possible under either model. If one wants to switch from one to the other, the question is whether the benefits will exceed the costs. Unless we know what the costs are (for purchasing and installing the gates, staffing and maintaining them, and perhaps even for the value of trips sometimes taken without pay that are replaced by sitting at home being unemployed rather than being replaced by paid trips) we can’t compare them to the benefits (increased fare revenue).

    And in reply to Karen: “Why should taxpayers have to pay for Metro’s mess? Metro ought to pay for these themselves!” Who do you think Metro is? Metro just *is* the taxpayers, who voted to hire individuals to staff an agency that is funded by taxpayers and use fees. They don’t have magic sources of money that don’t come from taxpayers or users. Unless you think that the former directors of Metro should somehow pay for this out of their own pockets, which certainly don’t have hundreds of millions of dollars in them.

  12. Bob Thomas

    “What seems indisputable is that gates clog the entrances, particularly during rush hours, when compared to the open system and as more and more people ride, that congestion will increase.”

    PROVE IT. London and Tokyo have to get through MILLIONS of transit riders PER DAY and THEY WORK ABSOLUTELY FINE WITH NO CLOGGING AT THE GATES.

    Where is your proof? All you do is complain about things when it is working perfectly fine elsewhere.

  13. Allon Percus,

    You might just as well quote Mars because you’re providing apples to oranges examples where none of the cities fits the characteristics of Los Angeles nor what Metro has to cover.

    Firstly, Metro is a county wide transit operator so you can’t compare apples to oranges with an agency trying to cover the entire county to another transit operator only operating within the city. Trying to quote examples like “San Diego doesn’t use it” where the San Diego MTS Trolley system only covers the City of San Diego versus LA Metro which covers the whole of LA County (and spurring out to neighboring San Bernardino County for the Gold Line Extension) doesn’t cut it.

    Secondly, LA County has a population encroaching 10 million over 4000 square miles of area. If you haven’t realized it by now, but LA County is the most populous county in the nation. If LA County were looked at as one single city instead of a blob of 88 municipal cities all doing trying to do things their own way, LA would be most populous and most densely populated city in the US. Name me any city listed there that comes anywhere near the population size, density, and area size as LA County. None of them do.

    None of those cities listed there fit the characteristics of the transportation needs of LA. When it comes to transportation planning, you have to account for “what city most closely resembles the needs similar to LA County.” Sorry, San Diego, Helsinki, Calgary, Oslo, Denver, Phoenix, none of them come close to what LA County has to do. So do San Francisco, New York and Boston. They are dense cities, but they are neither large areas like LA County.

    LA County is special that we have a big population over a wide area and there is no other city our county in the US that resembles our city-county’s characteristics and needs. Furthermore, there are few cities in the world that fits this description, namely London and Tokyo: both cities with populations over 10 million covering a wide area. It makes sense we focus our transportation needs’ attention in following what they do, and only those two cities only, than trying to pick how to run mass transit from a sample everywhere from Albuquerque to Zagreb.

  14. Why are we still arguing about this?

    Latch all the gates at all the stations and require everyone to TAP in to enter the system and TAP out to exit the system. Every city that I’ve been to which has excellent public transit does it this way.

    Just ask anyone living in LA who has TAP-in gated cities like San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, New York, and Mexico City. Just ask anyone living in LA who has visited London, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore on how they run it in a closed TAP-in/TAP-out system. The majority of the people in this melting pot city have used public transit all over the world. That’s the people Metro should be listening to.

    But leave it to government to listen to only minority of the people who have never visited these cities let alone have never traveled beyond Los Angeles and have experience how mass transit is run elsewhere screw everything up.

  15. Erik,

    Have you ever heard of the term, “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?”

    A vast majority of Angelenos WANT a gated system. If Yarovslavsky says “people are not paying,” that’s because we’ve been writing letters to him demanding action to get gates installed and locked for years, not because he’s making slander. To me, this has taken too long, too overdue. Gates were already installed but what was the point of them if they were free spinning? People just go through them without paying when they could’ve locked it as they installed it to save taxpayers but they chose to do a wait and see approach wasting even more tax dollars in the meantime.

    We know this is happening daily and we honest riders and taxpayers want this to be stopped. We all know first hand fare evasion has gotten so out of hand and we do not need more government studies at taxpayers’ expense to confirm this. It’s plain and obvious just by looking at what’s going on at all the rail stations. Many people who ride Metro Rail daily have heard more than many times how someone boasts “don’t waste your money, it’s free and they never check” when honest people buys a ticket.

    Anyone who disagrees is either guilty of fare evasion themselves and that’s why they’re so argumentative in why don’t want it or just sticking their heads in the sand to see what’s going on in reality.

    And just in case if no one has watched the news, Channel 4 NBC undercover news stories have proven with absolute and undeniable fact caught on camera that a vast majority of Metro Rail riders are doing fare evasion. The audacity is that the camera even catches one guy dodging the fare gates by ducking underneath the fare gate to dodge the fare gate just as the TV reporter is interviewing the Metro spokesman.

    http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/LA-Subway-Fare-Metro-MTA-Ticket-Prices-210181041.html

    Taxpayers have had enough of subsidizing fare evaders for so long. We demand action now. Things that are so obvious like fare evasion do not need government studies at taxpayers’ expense. They should just act immediately based on cold hard facts. All of this has been a waste of time, and a waste of everyone’s tax dollars when all of this could’ve been done straight and simple from the time they installed the gates in the first place!

  16. I am in favor of the gates. this will allow the officers who check for tickets to ride the trains and patrol. I see so many people blatantly break the rules (eating, playing loud music, selling, and panhandling) and we need the officers on the trains.

  17. The naysayers who want more studies and more figures are sounding more and more like the City of Beverly Hills in a desperate attempt to stall progress. Fare evasion hurts us all and it will benefit everyone in this city if Metro can start recovering the costs.

    The costs of installation and maintenance of fare gates across the system can be recuperated in many other ways than just fares alone.

    We can move to a different fare model like distance based fares like Washington DC which will help recover more costs by charging everyone fairly by the distance they travel.

    If we’re going to distance based fares, we’re going to have to do TAP out. Collect data at the same time and how about selling TAP-in and TAP-out data to third party marketing firms (with a condition of course for TAP users to opt-out on how their data gets used)? Google is already making BILLIONS that way through our searches whenever we Google stuff online. So does Facebook, iTunes, T-Mobile, you name it, they all do it. And they make BILLIONS each year through marketing data alone without a cent of taxpayer money used. It has been proven that data like these on what we search, where we go to are valuable to marketing firms. Why not collect and sell the data on how Angelenos travels through the system? It’ll be a virtual gold mine for marketing firms, theoretically being able to make tons of money for Metro.

    Metro can even start putting ads onto the fare gates themselves to make more additional money – that’s how JR Lines and Tokyo Metro subway lines make additional money – from ad revenue placed onto the fare gates themselves.
    http://s10.postimg.org/h3ig61c89/sell_ad_space_here.jpg

    We can also start adding retail space as a mixed-use concept of station designs and start collecting rent money from them for additional revenue, which a lot of cities do. Why use a station, just a station. Add a mini McDonald’s (like the ones in Walmart) or a Starbucks stand to a light rail or subway station and collect rent from McDonald’s and Starbucks. How do you think Walmart makes extra cash? By collecting rent from McDonald’s!

    A lot of the stations are totally underutilized in space for retailers and ads when everything can be used to generate more money for Metro all of which can be used to fund everything from fare gates, police officers, and better equipment. Metro just needs to learn how to run things like a business rather than continuing to be a government bureaucracy.

    Metro should stop their addicition to being taxpayer dependent. Instead, they need to change themselves to become a profit-driven corporation. They could stand to hire some MBAs and successful managers from the private sector to change things are run at Metro.

    Making money is easy. Yet leave it to government to suck badly at it.

  18. I laugh and feel sad about their naiveness at the same time when “skeptics” continue their blind, almost religious faith and belief that the honor system works and they try to prove their point with a list of cities that don’t.

    Maybe they need to Google up “fare evasion [insert non-gated cities]” to see what the realities of those cities to see what fare evasion problems they have.

    Gee looks like Frankfurt has fare evasion problems that’s getting out of control (gee, I wonder why?)
    http://www.thelocal.de/society/20120203-40509.html

    Fare evasion in San Diego? Costing them $900,000 a year an random police checks barely work
    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jun/21/trolley-undercover-ticket-mts-transit-plainclothes/all/?print

    Fare evasion in Helsinki? Yep, it happens and it’s getting so problematic that violence against ticket inspectors is becoming a growing concern
    http://liveinfinland.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/dodging-the-ticket-inspectors/

    Fare evasion in San Jose. They admit it’s a growing problem
    http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/Slipping-Through-The-Tracks-150090905.html

    Any more? Or do you want to do your own Google search?

    Honor system is dumb based on the assumption that everyone is honest and good-willing. Too bad the harsh reality is far from that assumption. People just can’t be trusted. And since there are too many people, we might as well just efficiently manage how to prevent that with fare gates. Way better than saturating the system with cops demanding “show me your ticket” everywhere like a police state if you ask me.

  19. I don’t see anything wrong with gates and I don’t know why some people are even complaining.

    If it automated the fare checking process then it’s a good thing. There’s just too many people using the system right now that doing fare checks with cops aren’t going to work. Cops are human, they can only do so much.

    Fare gates are simple but very efficient. It stays there all day without complaining or going to the bathroom or without food doing one simple task: TAP in, checks ok, let’s you in.

    Far better and nicer than cops who assume everyone is guilty and barks orders like Nazi-esque “show me your papers” at every turn, at the station, on the train, and at the destination.

  20. I read back and I also would like to add also that I agree it’s not going to be cheap to install and maintain these fare gates so I understand their concern. But as Larry P. stated above, there are plenty of ways to make additional money which Metro has not yet explored.

    I like the great idea of bringing in retailers into the stations and collecting rent money. This is a good example of a private-public-partnerships to gain extra revenue. I would love to have a Bank of America branch inside the Red Line stations so I can do my banking needs like withdrawing cash or depositing my checks right there instead of finding the nearest branch outside of the station. Or how about a 7-Eleven inside the station so I can buy my lunch and Starbucks Frappucino bottle on my way to work? Metro needs to think what transit riders want and how they can tie what they want into making extra money to pay for costs of improvements and doing business.

    Fare gates too expensive? Bring in extra cash by renting out space at the stations to businesses. It helps Metro with more additional revenue to help pay for fare gates, it helps create jobs, it helps make the station more convenient and better for transit users, and overall improves the transit riders’ experience.

    I don’t see a loss here, only a win-win-win-win-win situation. Can Metro look into this idea?

  21. “So how much Cubic stock do you own Mr. Lockthegatesalready?”

    Ridiculous comments like these do not help your cause, Erik Griswold. Rather, it only further illustrates why no one is taking you seriously anymore. Everybody else is providing solid hard facts on how faregates work perfectly fine in many cities all over the world and all you do are:

    1. Complain
    2. Cite cities that don’t do faregates as the best proof you have, while conveniently hiding the facts that they too are riddled with massive fare evasion problems
    3. When all else fails, resort to “how much stock do you own,”

    This is not how discussions are done and nor do they help win debates. You sound more and more like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity whenever he’s confronted with a smart liberal; he gets his emotions run him over facts and starts making accusatory statements. People tune out to that (though they do make great Youtube videos to share to the world as a laughing stock buffoon).

    To illustrate how ridiculous you sound, Metro buys Ford Escape Hybrids and they buy computers and servers to operate their day-to-day business (let’s say they use Dell) that run on Intel CPUs. Metro runs Siemens and Nippon Sharyo trains. Metro uses OTIS elevators, Schindler escalators, Sylvania (or GE or whatever) lighting, for their office at One Gateway Plaza and their train stations.

    Does this mean someone who made those decisions or who called for Metro to use them was a Ford, Dell, Intel, Siemens, and Nippon Sharyo, OTIS, Schindler and Sylvania (or GE or whatever) stockholder? No, of course not.

    But yet, when Metro buys and supports the idea of faregates, you immediately associate that someone must’ve been a Cubic stockholder?

    I highly suggest you seek mental health care as this getting beyond borderline insanity, it is insanity.

    I ask that The Source do not post anything written by Erik Griswold anymore.

  22. Why bother? You all know what’s the next tactic will be for the anti-faregating camp.

    Even if solid hard data is given by Metro that shows that fare evasion was problematic and the need for fare gates were warranted, which even though it’s plainly obvious to anyone without any further studies, the ones who are so determined to see them gone are going to cry afoul of “data manipulation,” or “Metro is on the payroll of Cubic to alter fare evasion statistics,” or probably somehow tie all this in with racial or financial discrimination and anything else that they can think of because they refuse to accept reality.

    Just like Beverly Hills, they’re going to demand more studies, more figures, re-do this study, this study was inconclusive, etc. etc. and in the end make up some frivilous lawsuit until they get what they want which is to see the faregates gone.

    This is the biggest reason why we get nothing done in America today. No one wants to work together, it’s all me, me, and me and if I don’t get what I want, I’m going to go full throttle with my tantrum and become your worst nightmare.

    Just like Beverly Hills – keep fighting back at the expense of everyone.

  23. I like fare gates because the police do not have to be bothered with checking fares anymore and instead, they can focus their attention on patrolling the stations and making sure the trains are safe from criminals, drug dealers, illegal vendors and phone snatchers.

    Let the fare gates do the redundant jobs of checking fares. There’s just too many people riding Metro Rail that doing all it all manually is too cumbersome and overwhelms the police officers’ duties. Besides, machines are able to do things much more efficiently than the any officer or a group of officers can. Let the police do what they are paid to do: provide safety for transit riders, not checking fares.

    Can you imagine New York and Tokyo being run all by hand without any machines?

  24. Another benefit of installing fare gates is that it opens up a wider possibility for Metro to do their jobs more efficiently and more cost effectively.

    One recent topic was how Metro was still relying on human counters to count how many people got on where and where they got off.
    http://thesource.metro.net/2013/07/15/2012-ridership-visualized/

    This has got to be very costly, time consuming, and very inefficient way of collecting data at taxpayers’ expense. This hired manual labor is an additional labor and overhead cost in addition to hiring the analysts to make sense of all the data collected by hand.

    Fare gates can do the same exact job daily with a simple TAP-in and TAP-out data collection process going on in the background. A simple simple programming logic of which lines serve which station and what time can be programmed by any computer programmer in a matter of a day. Metro already has the info on which lines serve which station and they have timetables on which lines comes at what time. They already are doing TAP-in to collect entry data, so the missing piece of the puzzle is simply gate latching on exit with on TAP-out.

    Once you do that, Metro can easily collect data more efficiently and accurately to help their daily job for a fraction of the cost of hiring human labor to do manual counts in a very inefficient and costly way:

    1. 10,000 people TAP in at Culver City during the hours of 8:00AM and 9:00AM
    2. Additional 5,000 people TAP in at La Cienega/Jefferson 8:00AM and 9:00AM
    3. Out of the 10,000 people who TAP in at Culver City at 8:00AM and 9:00AM, 5,000 of them TAP-out at 7th/Metro (With simple programming logic that only the Expo Line eastbound serves the logic of a Culver City TAP-in and 7th/Metro TAP-out)
    4. If 50% of the people then uses the Expo Line at 8:00AM to 9:00AM from Culver City to Downtown LA, perhaps we can look into providing an express or limited service at those commuting rush hours to bypass some of the stations so as to cut the commute time and get to Downtown LA faster.

    Because when you factor in how many people ride the system today with the number of lines we have and multiply that with the number of stations there are in the system today where people get on and off, over the course of the day, the permutations are so astronomical that it’s just not cost effective to do data collection by hand.

    There are way better methods to do this and I imagine that data collection with TAP-in and TAP-out with a system programmed with uploaded data on which lines serve which stations at what time is exactly how successful mass transit systems across the world are using.

    It’s just like the inefficiency in trying to use mass deployment of police officers to fulfill a tidal wave of increasing number of riders across all the stations in the number of lines we have to do redundant tasks.

    Fare gates can do both the redundant tasks of fare checks and data collection way better than police officers or human counters more efficiently and cost effectively.

  25. To highlight what a TAP-in/TAP-out background data collection can be done on fare gates in addition to checking fares, this is what it’s capable of doing:

    1. TAP-in at Union Station at 10:00AM (can be Red Line, Purple Line, Gold Line, not enough data to know which line this TAP-in rider got onto)

    2. TAP-out at 7th/Metro at 10:20AM (Only westbound Red and Purple Line serves the logic of serving a TAP-in at Union Station and TAP out at 7th/Metro, but at TAP-in of 10:00AM and TAP out of 10:20AM, only the Red Line fits the timetable; therefore this person used the westbound Red Line)

    This simple logic process can be applied in matter of 0.2-0.5 seconds per TAP-in and TAP-out per the written studies I see on how contactless cards are being using all over the world. And this can be done concurrently in the background process all at the same time while checking fares.

    Furthermore, this can be done on a wide scale across all the stations that all the line serves, with data collections happening daily, every time of the hour, per every TAP in and TAP out without relying on costly human counters.

    It’s a no brainer that Metro could be saving big bucks just by a day’s worth of programming work and latching the gates on exit – the missing piece of the puzzle.

  26. I think Metro should just set a model city goal which we’re aiming for our mass transit needs. People going against each other by citing how which city does things which way versus another is getting us nowhere. There are too many cities to model after within the US and the world that one side will say “New York and San Francisco does it this way” while others will say “Frankfurt and Berlin does it this way” while another will say “London and Tokyo does it perfectly fine in this way.”

    LA can’t be New York, San Francisco, Frankfurt, Berlin, London and Tokyo at the same time. We need to pick a successful self-sustaining mass transit oriented city that best fits the description like Los Angeles (a big city-county spanning 4000 square miles with a population encroaching upon 10 million) and model our transit system the closest city which fits that description.

    I say we weed out the all the noise and stick with London and Tokyo. Those two are the only two major metropolitan areas that fit the description of a successful (and in the case of Tokyo, a profitable) transit system that covers a large huge metropolitan area with a very large population.

    After all, we all don’t want to end up like Detroit now do we?

  27. keaswaran,

    “The right answer to “New York, Tokyo, London” is “Berlin, Vienna, Copenhagen”

    Compared to Los Angeles:

    Berlin is a small city in Germany with a metropolitan population of only 3.3 million people in an area of only 350 square miles.

    Vienna is a small city in Austria, with a metropolitan population of only 3 million in an area of just a little over 160 square miles.

    Copenhagen is a small city in Denmark, with a metropolitan population of a just barely under 2 million with an area of 1170 square miles

    You could add all THREE of these cities together and they STILL DO NOT COME to the population and size of Los Angeles County metropolitian area proper.

    Now let’s compare Los Angeles County (which Metro has to serve as a county-wide agency) to New York, London, and Tokyo:

    Los Angeles County: 9,962,789 @ 4,752.32 sq mi
    New York City: 8.3 million @ 468.5 square miles
    London Metro: 15 million @ 3236.31 square miles
    Tokyo Metro: 35.6 million @ 5240 square miles

    We have a lot more in common with NYC, London, and Tokyo than the cities that you cited as your best rebuttal in a desperate attempt to prove your point.

    Problems faced in NYC, London, and Tokyo, are the problem we face in LA. NYC, London, and Tokyo are our “big brothers” so to speak, who have had years of experience in handling problems in running a city/metropolitan area with a huge population over a wide area. That’s who we need to follow, not little cities like Berlin, Vienna, and Copenhagen. They may be “big cities” from a worldwide standpoint, but from an LA standpoint, those cities, we can just gobble up for dinner and still have room for dessert.

  28. I agree. The most common desperate attempt to disprove is always:

    “But Frankfurt, Vienna, San Diego, Copenhagen, Phoenix, Denver, Zurich, etc. etc, doesn’t use them and they work fine!!”

    The Slam Dunk Answer:

    “Los Angeles has a larger population and spans a wider area that those cities. [insert comparison of their city population and area size versus LA County’s population and area size. These can be easily Googled) It makes no sense try to apply the logics that are applied in smaller and less populated cities than us.

    We cannot keep bringing up examples from every city in the US and the world and try to fit all of them to see what best will solve our problems in Los Angeles.

    Furthermore, majority of cities without fare gates and those that continue to remain on the honor system are riddled with inefficiencies and major issues with regards to fare evasion. A simple Google search shows numerous articles where the honor system is broken all across the world.

    With our city’s financial state and budget constraints, our city cannot continue to repeat the mistakes of other cities for the sake of benefiting the needs of the few at the expense of the needs of the many. The majority of this city has called for a gated system for years and our elected officials who serve on the Metro Board have acted on the voices and concerns of the public. We also cannot continue to hire more police officers to handle the growing task of providing both security and fare checks as ridership numbers increase throughout the coming years.

    The underlying reality is that Los Angeles County has a population of 10 million and growing, spanning over 4000 square miles of land in which LA Metro has to cover. At this point, very few metropolitan areas in the US and the world have such a large population size and land area as big Los Angeles does.

    Being said that, going forward, we are only going to follow the examples of New York, London, and Tokyo. These three cities are the only cities that share the same similarities as Los Angeles in terms of metropolitan population and area size. The problems these three cities face in terms of urban planning and mass transit issues have long been their agenda in the past and it is vital that we learn from their experiences rather than trying to take a pick from cities that bear no resemblance to us.”

    End of discussion. Metro should copy and paste this to as a rebuttal to anyone who cites the necessity of fare gates by bringing up endless examples of how other that don’t have fare gates as their desperate attempt to change they way things are moving forward.

  29. Re: @James Lee, LAX, et al:

    Neither side of this debate has so far, in this talkback, realized that despite the so called “evidence” that they state about this city or that city (really.. are you really comparing LA to New York..or even London???????) is that LA is unique.

    You all seem so eager to lump LA into a basket with all the other fruit that you miss most of the things that stand out about LA. For example: LA City is itself bisected by a mountain range, the County by even more. There isn’t massive centralization of the city like Manhattan. This list could go on and on.

    People who suggest that LA should be more like Asia, or London or whatever, are playing to their preconceived ideas of what their perfect city is, even if it ignores the culture, geology, and geography of this City right now.

  30. in the valley,

    You can cite geography, culture, whatever, but the reality still stands with cold hard data:

    Los Angeles County has a population of 10 million and still growing year after year. The area size is fixed at 4000 square miles. There is no more room left to expand. We’ve built our city with suburban sprawl and we built them to their limits. There are no more open spaces left.

    The future of Los Angeles will inevitably, be much more denser than it is today.

    If you’re looking at the next New York, London, and Tokyo, you’re living in one. It won’t be centralized like Manhattan, but unless majority of Angelenos suddenly dies with a mysterious alien death ray ala Independence Day flattening this city, LA within the next fifty years is only going to get:

    1. Larger population. 15-20 million residents within LA County is very possible.
    2. Try to fit 15-20 million in an area where there’s no more room left to expand
    3. Everything is gonna get denser

    That is the reality and future of LA whether you like it or not. Unless you can give me another solution? Move some people to Arizona?

  31. in the valley,

    Have you heard of the world class city rankings by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network of Loughborough University?

    For years, the top three world class cities always have been London, New York, and Tokyo. It usually shifts in rank, but the top three has always been New York, London, or Tokyo. The rankings are based on culture, arts, entertainment, lifestyle, number of global corporations, economy, jobs, uniqueness, how much that city has a profound effect in the world, etc.

    And what may come as a surprise to you is that Los Angeles is and always have been just one step out of reach from them – for the sake of crappy public transit. We rank #4 in that list, just one point below them.

    We outrank Paris, Madrid, Frankfurt, Seoul, Hong Kong, Singapore, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, etc. etc.

    If we’re #4 and only three cities outrank us, why should we follow cities that we outrank?

    We should be following what the winners are doing.

  32. I want to see the gates locked at all the stations with no further studies and no further delays.

    Too many people ride for free and we need to stop it. Why didn’t they just build the system with gates from the start? Anyone with brains could figure it out just in their head that beating the system is too easy under an honor system.

    Someone has to be fired for all of this.

  33. And another thing.

    What really happens after anyone gets caught riding the system for free? Do they really write out tickets and collect fines right then and there or do they have to go to court? How much tickets were written throughout the years and how many fines were actually collected?

    What are people going to do when officers asks for ID when they get busted? If people are riding the Metro, they’re likely not even going to be caring drivers licenses anyway. What makes anyone so sure that “you don’t have a ticket, you don’t have ID, I’m writing you a ticket so tell me your name your name and address” and that person just says “John Doe, 123 Fake St.” as his address?

    Besides, how hard is it for fare evaders to see cops coming onto the trains? If they see them coming onboard, they’ll just get off at the next station before they catch them and wait for the next train to come.

    Any average joe can think of so many ways to beat the system and yet, government bureaucrats can’t. No wonder why people don’t trust government, they’re run by a bunch of idiots!

  34. Everyone knew that this honor system was flawed and it shouldn’t have taken this long to figure out a solution to this problem. The real reason why it took so long is because Metro really didn’t care about this problem seriously and just left this problem go so out of hand because no what, they get paid with tax dollars.

    When people have asked this question in the past:
    “Why are we using the honor system”

    What they have been saying over and over again were:
    “This is not an honor system, it’s a proof of payment system. When police officers board the train and demand proof, you have to show that you paid or face a fine”

    But what they really meant to say in their hearts were:
    “Ugh, this stupid question again. Taxpayers should shut up questioning government and just give us more money. It’s because it’s always been that way, duh! Just give them the usual copy-and-paste template response and hope that they are dumb enough to be convinced with that answer”

    And if people are still not convinced and even make the slightest of all rational response on how it is inherently flawed, all they do is ignore it. Their job was done when they sent in the first response (they probably only read the first few sentences and decide which template response to send out) and any recurring complaints they get letter just go to the shredder or something.

    You think government really cares about us taxpayers? If you really think government cares about taxpayers then you must be stupid. Government employees are the most dumbest, laziest people on the planet!

    • Hi Jake;

      Anyone who writes “most dumbest” probably isn’t in a great position to judge the intelligence of others.

      Burn!

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  35. Was it really that difficult to know that fare evasion was problematic? Did we really need all these stupid government studies? Or did people working at Metro were so out of touch with reality that they were just totally blind to the fact for the past twenty years that the honor system was broken?

    How much fares went uncollected throughout the years at the expense of taxpayers? And how much richer did the folks working at Metro get through tax hikes to cover up for the loss?

    I remember when I was a kid, sales tax was at 7% and the monthly passes were at $50 or so. Now we’re at 9% and monthly passes now cost $75 with more possible fare hikes to come all thanks to the government workers who could’ve stopped this way back when we opened the Blue Line rather than let this continue onto today when we have to worry about more stations and more lines.

    No one wins with government stupidity.

    • The gates couldn’t be latched until TAP was working well and paper tickets were replaced. That took longer than anticipated.

      Yeah, inflation stinks. Wish I was still a kid, too, and my Dad paid for everything, Superman was in a good movie and the Big Red Machine was on its way to another World Series appearance.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  36. The fault lies in the voters of LA. You all are the ones who voted the politicians who serve on the Metro Board. You are the ones who trusted government in the first place. And this is true across all political parties both left and right in LA.

    If Republicans have a problem with Democrats being in charge of everything today and are sick of them being re-elected over and over again, all you had to do was go out in huge numbers to surpass the low voter turnout rate of Democrats. Just look at the most recent local elections. The voter turnout rate was pitiful. If every Republican got together and voted, they could whooped Democrats’ butt easily with such a low turnout rate. But you guys didn’t, so it’s your loss.

    If Democrats had a problem with Republicans, they could’ve acted sooner and kicked out people like Mayor Riordan, and Governors Deukmejian, Wilson, and Schwarzenegger. You could’ve gotten together and kicked these Republicans out of the mayor’s and governor’s office easily. If it were not for Riordan’s mistakes in running things under the honor system, we wouldn’t have had this system in the first place. The fault lies in you, the Democrats, for trusting Riordan’s leadership on how to run Metro when it first started running.

    As others have stated, LA County is reaching a population of 10 million. This not only makes us the most populous county in the nation, it also means 1 in 4 people in the State of California live right here in LA County. What we decide has a huge profound effect in State of California matters. We have a huge number to change and influence California politics. But no. No one votes in LA. Political apathy in this city and county is sickening.

    If you all have a problem with how government runs public transit, you could’ve written your grievances to the politicians who serve on the Metro Board for immediate action and change instead of writing and complaining directly to Metro employees who don’t care. Metro employees are not the decision makers, they hold no real power. All they are government bureaucrats who get paid on your dime following the direction of the politicians who have absolutely no idea how mass transit works, let alone rides one daily, let alone have the slightest of all clue how to run mass transit successfully. The decision makers are the politicians who serve on the Metro Board.

    I may also add that running LA County with independent 88 municipalities is also part of the problem on not getting anything done. Yet you the voters are the ones who’d rather keep Culver City running on its own, as well as Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Vernon, El Monte, Torrance, etc. etc. rather that merging every single incorporated and unincorporated municipalities in this county into one big LA City-County. Things would go so smoother that way and if LA County were a single city, we’d be the biggest in terms of land size and most populous city in the nation, out-surpassing NYC to gain more federal funds.

  37. @James Lee
    You have stated: “You can cite geography, culture, whatever, but the reality still stands with cold hard data”

    and “The Slam Dunk Answer:

    “Los Angeles has a larger population and spans a wider area that those cities”

    and ” Being said that, going forward, we are only going to follow the examples of New York, London, and Tokyo.

    also ” End of discussion….”

    So your reality Ignores geography, culture, whatever?!

    Thank you for clarifying your ideas and thinking process. But I suppose when you end your rant with “End of discussion..” you’re not that interested in any other information anyway.

    @LAX Frequent Flyer

    Among the points that I was trying to make is that each city has had to make their own adaptations as they progressed.

    You are right about one thing, I never thought LA would be placed on a list higher than Paris (well at least for the present).

  38. in the valley,

    My point is exactly that: we’re at that adaptation point right now.

    LA’s mass transit ridership is growing and in a city of this size and this big, spreading out and massively deploying law enforcement to do random fare checks will be an impossible, ineffective, and costly task in the long run. Berlin, Frankfurt, San Diego and all the others that the other side has mentioned are all relatively smaller and more compact cities compared to Los Angeles. Running an honor system in is still “manageable” (though articles show that they aren’t really effective and riddled with fare evasion problems far worse than ours) with random fare checks.

    The real question is more of a serious what-if question where “the way things are going with gas prices, if every 10 million and growing LA County residents had to ditch the car and have no choice but to start using mass transit tomorrow, is the honor system going to be sustainable?” The answer to that is no. It will be a virtually impossible and ineffective task in trying to randomly check if every 10 million resident in LA to pay for public transit. And reality of higher gas prices and more Angelenos moving to public transit is a far likely scenario that we need to act now to prepare ourselves for the future. No matter how you look at it: gas prices are not going back down to $1/gallon and the population of LA is not going to go down.

    Our goal is to become a transit oriented city where majority of Angelenos will use mass transit to get where they are going over gas guzzling SUVs. If our goal is to move 10 million residents in LA County to use public transit daily, Metro needs to adapt how to conduct their business. We’re not a city that’s trying to persuade 1 million residents living in less than 200 square miles to take public transit. If that were the goal, then following the examples of Berlin, Frankfurt, San Diego would still make sense. But unfortunately, we’re not a city of 1 million living in less than 200 square miles. We’re a city-county where our goals are to persuade TEN million residents living in over FOUR THOUSAND square miles to take public transit. Such a goal deems that we seek answers on the very few cities around the world that have undergone that challenge and have been successful in doing so.