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.