A quick heads-up: Metro staff will be test locking the gates at the North Hollywood Red Line station this afternoon from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
This is a continuation of the testing that began earlier this fall to gauge the different ways that Metro patrons are paying their fares and how many are using TAP cards.
As with earlier tests — which were very un-eventful — Metro staff will be on hand to answer questions and help those with paper ticket and passes get through the gates.
Categories: Policy & Funding
Yes let’s have Los Angeles just close the gates and let the other agencies deal with it. Enough is enough.
As a member of the Metro Art Council’s Docent Program, we docents escort up to 20 persons on a Metro Art Tour and issue stick-on Day Passes to the participants. There is no way these stick-ons can activate gate passage electronically. Do I tap my own card up to 20 times for the tour participants?
That’s not to say I dislike TAP itself. I was always able to get stored value on mine (I bought it from a nearby Foothill Transit store), I just rarely had cause to use it since my Metrolink ticket includes the cost of transfers. Forutnately, I think it’s starting to work out it’s issues. Unfortunately, I don’t think everyone is ready for the elimination of paper tickets, especially first-time users and tourists. My biggest fear is that locking the gates will discourage currently paying customers from using the system.
You missed my point entirely. I was suggesting that if they originally chose fare gates which were capable of reading multiple fare types, then they wouldn’t be having issues with forcing other agencies into their TAP system.
I don’t care of Metro wants to eliminate their own paper tickets, but expecting other agencies to find the money to switch to their (clearly less than perfect) system is a bit daft.
Metro’s original plan was to stop issuing paper tickets and passes altogether and go all TAP, by means of reloadable TAP cards that we have now and using one-time use TAP cards/tokens/passes like they use in Amsterdam, Singapore and Taipei.
The only problem is that LA Metro botched the whole TAP thing to begin by underestimating the marketing process to actually promote TAP use to Metro riders. They sort of expected TAP would take shape on its own.
The end result is that we end up with TAP that has yet to figure out how to redesign it’s webpage, a system that took years to figure out how to load cash value on to the card at fixed prices, a card system that has a programmed expiration date to usurp TAP users for more money as it expires, no clear cut answer on how to transfer money from one TAP card to another upon expiration, and TAP usage that’s way below expectations because using TAP with cash value doesn’t really offer any additional incentives over paying cash.
The gates at H/H aren’t locked yet,so people can still go through without paying. Also, there is a section to the left of the gates that is still open. People also walk through there without paying.
Metro doesn’t have to force everyone else to use TAP to lock the gates. Had they installed machines capable of accepting paper tickets too, this wouldn’t even be a problem.
Tokyo has two subway systems, Tokyo Metro and Toei, plus JR and a whole lot of private rail companies, some of which cross into other prefectures.
ALL of those systems take Suica.
If Tokyo can do it, Los Angeles can certainly do it.
Converting an honor system into a locked system is simple if there’s only one agency involved. The problem with LA Metro is that it’s trying to appease all the other independently run municipal and commuter agencies all at once when they can just go ahead themselves.
LA Metro is the largest municipal agency in all of LA County. For that matter I am mystified on why Metro has to spend all the time and taxpayer money to reach a consensus for a regional fare system. They can go at it alone independently and being the largest operator in all of LA, sooner or later the other will have no choice but to follow suit.
All we need is a strong leadership in Metro to simply say “we’re going our way, locking the turnstiles, moving to a distance fare system, and all we care is about transfers within our system. All you other agencies, that’s your problem to figure it out. If you don’t like it, get onboard with TAP.”
Sometimes, it’s just better to be a bit evil for once in order to achieve the greater good.
There are still many existing fare media in use that are not TAP-able and likely never will be (Metrolink tickets & passes, municipal transfers, ACCESS cards, etc.).
A transit system must have locked turnstiles all the way back in the design phrase and must integrate all the possible fare media. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to convert an honor system to a turnstile system when it is already in operation.
When are the paper one-time use tap cards going to be ready in the machines?
We really need to start giving incentives to promote the use of TAP cards as well as getting rid of paper tickets/passes altogether and moving towards reusable one-time use TAP cards.
In Singapore and Seoul, they provide incentives like discounted fares to promote the use of the contactless cards.
If LA Metro wants to see more TAP use, they should start offering incentives like fare discounts of $1.25 as opposed to $1.50 when using TAP.
I’m not surprised that other tests (as this one probably will be) have been uneventful, since they are staffing the stations during the tests. Gates and locking haven’t really bothered me in general, what does bother me is that Metro’s plan is to not staff all stations when full locking goes into place. Gates increase the labor required to keep things running efficiently, and need staff to handle things like paper tickets, passes that aren’t working properly, discourage gate jumping, etc. A non-staffed gate locking test would probably be much more problematic.
The flip side of the gate problem is that IMHO you do need staffing to effectively get locked gates working well, and staffing the stations would probably eat up the cost benefit of gate locking… (and then some)
will there be a way through the turnstiles for those passengers who are using metrolink tickets for fare?
Yes — staff will help everyone get through the gates.
Editor, The Source