Metro Blue Line gates to be latched beginning today

The next step in latching gates on the Metro Rail system begins Wednesday, December 11, 2013, as five Blue Line stations will be updated and secured. Blue Line stations with existing turnstiles will be latched, including Slauson, Firestone, Compton, Artesia and Del Amo stations.

Fourteen stations on the Metro Green Line are scheduled to begin latching on December 18, with work expected to be completed by February, 2014. The latching of Metro Rail gates began June 19, 2013 at Union Station on the Red/Purple subway lines and was completed in August and 5 Gold Line stations were latched in October. When completed, 41 of 80 Metro Rail stations will be latched to provide fuller integration in the TAP universal fare system.

Gate latching requires passengers to use a TAP card loaded with appropriate fare to pass through turnstiles at rail stations. TAP helps to strengthen fare enforcement and is utilized as fare media on 12 transportation providers including Metro, Metrolink, Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Access, Antelope Valley, Culver City, Gardena, Foothill, Norwalk, Montebello, Santa Clarita and Torrance. By the end of 2014 a total of 26 carriers will be part of TAP creating, for the first time, a seamless, regional transit system.

Metro and its transit partners have been rolling out TAP for several years and in addition to tracking fares, TAP gathers data on passenger usage so service can be adjusted to demand.

Metro is monitoring TAP’s progress to determine its impact on fare evasion. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and civilian security personnel provide added security on board trains and buses as well as at transit facilities and stations. They randomly check patrons on trains and stations using electronic fare checkers to ensure proper payment is made. With the new fare gating system in place, Metro can better monitor passenger flow and usage of rail stations.

Categories: Transportation News

28 replies

  1. I used to park-and-ride at Del Amo Station on a regular basis when I worked downtown. It always looked like it could be gated.

    I’m glad to see that they are finally getting around to doing it; it wouldn’t have been so difficult if they had done so from the start.

  2. So how many years will it have been since Yvonne Burke’s claim that it was easy to end up on Blue Line platforms without a ticket “by accident” to the point where the installable turnstiles in her district are finally all latched?

  3. Can we get a TAP-in/TAP-out system? It would be easier and cheaper if we did the locking on exit at the same time.

  4. So in the end HALF of the rail stations will be latched – let that sink in…we’re spending tens of millions so that half of the rail system remains on the honor system (completely open).

  5. I do not believe that latching the gates will deter the authorized vendors from roaming the trains to sell water and candies unless Metro has a new policy requiring everyone taps in must complete the trip within a certain amount of time (2 hours). Both BART and the trains in Hong Kong have such rules. Therefore, you cannot use the train to run a delivery service between stations by just paying the fare of a cheapest trip in a system. Most for-profit rail systems have cameras to check to make sure that you don’t use the system without paying for your ACTUAL body movements between stations.

  6. Ivan,

    The best way to deter illegal vendors is to allow real vendors into the system. Let 7-Eleven or CVS to open up there shops inside the station and you’ll see the problems go away through competetition. Overall, it’s better because illegal vendor sales don’t bring in sales taxes, 7-Eleven and CVS sales do. Every for profit transit systems abroad has legal merchants in the system.

  7. All Hong Kong subway and train stations have shops. Lots of different types of vendors (food, clothing, souvenirs, etc.) and they are always busy. Even the most suburban, residential stations have at least a bakery and a convenient store.

    The Famima, the Starbucks, and the couple small eateries inside Union Station are always packed, so there is a demand for shops here in LA too.

  8. Train stations from the smallest to largest ones in Japan also have shops inside them. Bakeries, flower shops, newstands, vending machines, ATMs, Restrooms, ther stations are built like mini-business buildings.

    What do we have? Nothing but empty spaces everywhere. What a wasteful use of perfectly good landspace!

    Metro can earn rent money if they dedicate some empty spaces in their stations to busineses. It’ll also create jobs and help boost sales tax revenue. More people inside the stations all the time also creates a safer environment to keep criminals away.

    Metro says train stations will help local businesses but they themselves don’t make train stations that way. It’s like they don’t believe what they say.

  9. Ever since the first Blue Line was built, people have been complaining about fare evasion and have given great example of transit oriented cities all over the world on how they add gates. But for years Metro didn’t listen and they went plowed straight through by building stations without gates in mind, thinking they were smarter than everyone else.

    The Expo Line Phase I stations proves exactly that. It’s the most recent addition to the Metro Rail system and they could’ve built it from the start with gates in mind, yet they didn’t.

    Didn’t Metro think “oh we should design our Expo stations with gates now that they’re adding gates to Red/Purple Lines?”

    Talk about one hand not talking with the other!

  10. my biggest concern is what about transfers. if the latch is only released with a TAP card then paper transfers are pretty much useless. I take a LADOT bus to the Blue Line to get to school everyday, so now instead of getting a transfer I have to pay more?

  11. Homeless People Use the Emergency exit to ride for free and smoke at the stations. Ohh There is also the spare change guy who pan handles on the red line.

  12. Our city’s budget shortfalls wouldn’t be in this mess if we’d collected fares from everyone by having gates right from the start. For the twenty some years running on the honor system, how many millions of dollars in lost revenue that taxpayers had to pay for sleazebags?

  13. Many of the stations that can’t be latched up are only limited by the property Metro owns at these stations.

    Metro can buy up adjacent properties and to expand the stations’ foot grounds. It would be great if Metro gets it right this time by building those stations with retail space in mind so that stations themselves make money too.

    For stations that were built in the middle of the street, Metro can construct a pedestrian overpass that leads to the island platform.

    LA needs to start building their train systems right, not constantly taking the cheap way out. By taking the cheap way out, all we’re going to end up is fixing it at a higher price later on.

  14. @Paul C

    Fare gates have been exhaustively debated here, look at past articles, and they do not raise that much in additional monies.

  15. I think there’s a good possibility of redesigning the Florence Station to accomodate gates. For example, between the eastern most rail tracks and the parking lot, is a ditch. Metro can add another platform in that space. The existing platform will be used primarily to go one direction and the potential new platform for the other direction.

    By separating platforms for each direction, it will alleviate the crowding of transit riders to be all jumbled up into one narrow platform. By doing so, they can add gates.

  16. I ride the Gold Line everyday and I see many people never paying to ride the train. It makes me feel like being an honest person is stupid when you see so many people getting away with it.

  17. Gold Line User: How do you know they are not paying? Because they don’t buy a ticket and tap at the stancheon? You monitor each TVM?

  18. in the valley,

    And it has been debated over and over again that there are plenty of cities that uses gates like New York, Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco too. We’re now with the big leagues, there’s no point in us trying out ideas that work better in smaller cities like San Diego. They can keep their honor system and keep losing money. It’s time we moved ahead to what makes common sense.

  19. It is true that the gates themselves don’t make any money. The gates are a law enforcement tool that helps the police do their job more efficiently. Cops can’t be everywhere to do fare checks all the time, but with gates, it can help reduce fare evasion a lot more than the open honor system that requires random fare checks. Random is not going to cut it when we have so many people using the system today.

    The honor system might work in places like San Diego MTS where there’s very few people using the system that randomized police checks are still adequate. But when you have close to 10 million riders every month using our Metro system, it is impossible to do with random police checks.

    Is it perfect? No. You still have people sneaking in through the emergency exits but that can be prevented with staffing one single officer or Metro personnel nearby. That’s what gated system cities do. Whereas without the gates, you’d need so many cops all over the system that it will become a strain on our city’s budget.

    In addition, now that we have gates, we can start to look at more efficient and perhaps, more profitable fare collection methods like time or distance based fares. Variable fare structures can be done on rail that has gates (San Francisco BART and MUNI) or without gates (Caltrain) and on buses (The Netherlands, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore).

    Many cities around the world are and have been using these technologies for a long time and it’s time we apply their use right here. Metro needs to stop listening to people who don’t know anything, who are close-minded, and are oblivious that America is falling behind the rest of the world because of their conservative, backward views.

  20. The MTA needs to make the Compton Station safer OR at least make it feel safer. Please, enforce the laws. From the J-Walker that cross the medians on Palmer and Willowbrook. to the people always hanging around the Compton Station doing no good (or at the corner of Superior). Adding more lights or fixing the lights that are not working could help the Compton Station become a safer place.. But without a question closing the turnstiles will help, as long if people do not use the emergency exit as a way getting around the turnstile.

  21. The Blue Line is the problem here. There are no gates at most of the stations. Speaking of enforcing the fares, would the idea of bringing in conductors help? I mean, look, the people who dont pay the fares just pass through, and revenue goes down the drain. NYC does it. But with us: Have random fare checks on the trains, and those who evade may want to think about starting to pay the fare. Also could take the burden off of the train operator so the operator can focus more on the route, and the conductor could do some of the work, and of course, inspect fares, and somewhat be a resource.