In order to prepare for the upcoming locking of gates at subway stations, the turnstiles have been locked until 8 p.m. today at the Purple Line’s Wilshire/Normandie station (photos above and below).
In addition, the ticket machines at that station have been converted to TAP only — that is, they are no longer dispensing paper tickets with one exception: Metro-to-Muni transfers. The ticket machines will remain that way and other ticket machines in the subway will be similarly converted in the weeks ahead.
Metro staff will be in the Wilshire/Normandie station throughout the day to ensure that everyone can get through the gates. Free TAP cards are being handed out to station patrons who don’t already have them.
The gates at Wilshire/Normandie may be locked intermittently in the coming weeks — and they may be locked permanently sooner if the Metro Board of Directors decides to accelerate gate locking (staff report, pdf). Once the gates are locked, the station will always be staffed to help those with Metrolink tickets, EZ passes and Muni-to-Metro transfers get through the gates.
Metro has developed a solution for EZ Pass commuters — the passes will be a paper smart card that can be electronically read by TAP validators when boarding Metro buses and trains as well as muni operators that use TAP. The new EZ passes will also have monthly stickers on them so that agencies without TAP can visually inspect the passes. These new EZ passes are expected to be available in mid-August.
About the same time, bus operators issuing Muni to Metro transfers to Red/Purple subway will sell paper TAP cards that are good for one entry to enter the gates. These paper TAP transfers are NOT valid on Metro buses; these are for exclusive, one-time use to get through gates. Alternative options are under discussion for a longer term solution to accommodate all Munis and Metro transfers in the future.
Metro continues to work with Metrolink to get that agency into the TAP program.