New platform decals reinforce the message: let people off the train before boarding the train!


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.

30 replies

  1. Would it also be possible to do something about the stairs leading to/from the Gold Line station platform at Union Station? There’s a huge crush of people whenever a train rolls in and there’s always a few clueless folks who block the entire stairs while proceeding one step at a time. I’ve seen whole families saunter down the stairs holding hands while people behind them miss their connections.

  2. The trains and train doors MUST Line up with the decals on the floor or else the decals will be pointless… Hopefully this will solve the problem Atleast our Subway isn’t as crowded as Tokyo’s…

  3. Finally some order on the platform!! they need new labels and arrows throughout the whole METRO system, better signage would help i.e. next train in 3 mins instead of displaying the time Also Metro should install “Stand on the Right” signs on Escalators, there’re commuters trying to catch a bus or a train!!!,d.cGE&psig=AFQjCNEOTh67HzjBEbI596qH5f6PnPHUfg&ust=1361006014498592

  4. The arrows look similar to the ones in Hong Kong – the MTR uses 8 cars and the train is always full. The arrows were placed to allow passengers exit first. Platform screen doors were also installed to reduce energy (air conditioning) and increased safety (preventing people from falling off the platform)

  5. “People who want to walk on an escalator should use the stairs that is what they are there for.”; ignorance.

  6. Good idea. Now if they can create a decal that instructs the Blue Line riders to stand back from the boarding area while an Expo Line train is boarding. Anybody who uses the 7th/Metro station has seen this happen. I realize that the Blue Line riders needed time to adjust to having to share the platform with another train, but Expo has been running for 9 months now. Seriously.

  7. WOW.

    And it only took 20 years of running the Metro Red Line for Metro to add in some plastic stickers and create some black arrows using rolls of black tape that can be bought at Home Depot for five bucks per ten pack, that many cities around the world have been doing for decades. Way to go Metro for finally getting things moving! Betcha Metro must’ve spent millions of dollars to add in some arrows and spent years in red tape to get this project going along.

    Maybe we can get “stand to the left/right” escalator signs in 20 years? I have high hopes TAP will be fixed in 50 years now! Yippie!

  8. I was in Delhi India in December and I have to say I’ve never seen such a chaotic and at times barbaric scene once the train doors open at some stations. I have a video of the mad rush of people trying to get on and off at once. Anyways, what Delhi did at their hub station “CP” was station officials at each and every train door with lines to either side of the door area for people waiting to get on. (There are also arrows on the ground similar to what Metro just implemented) Once the train stopped, doors opened and those who wanted to get off got off, then officials would let the others on the train.

    I do think an inherent problem for riders on the Red/Purple Line platform at 7th and Metro is space. The sections of the platform where the stairs come down make for a very narrow place for people to stand and for people to move around; making egress and ingress at times just a mess. I’m hoping the arrows work!

  9. People who want to walk on an escalator should use the stairs that is what they are there for.

  10. Great! PLEASE can we get some “STAND RIGHT WALK LEFT” signs near the escalators?

  11. It’d be nice to have text on the decals explaining it too. Plus maybe additional info on the video screens.

    • Hi Robb,

      Metro has bilingual train cards that show people how to exit/enter the train. I think it’s nice the floor decals are simple – less distracting text. But videos are a nice idea!

      Anna Chen
      The Source, Contributor

  12. What Dan said! The escalator issue is REALLY annoying, especially when you are at Union Station or elsewhere trying to get upstairs to a connection! Airports do it, why not rail stations?

  13. I second Neglected Bus Riders call for better delineation of the Red and Purple Lines, especially if Metro intends to charge a separate fare for each soon

  14. Can you also work on imforming passengers to stand to the right on escalators so others can walk on the left.

  15. This only applies on the Red/Purple Line platform, since the Blue/Expo Line platforms above are for the beginning and ending of the Blue/Expo Lines. P.S. Metro-please start COLOR CODING the “Headsigns” on the Red/Purple Line trains! Those pale green headsigns are nearly impossible to read!

  16. I suggest a 30-second flashing STOP sign on the side or top of each car’s doors, during peak commuting hours, with a $50 fine for anyone who enters in those 30 seconds. Word will get out quickly. I am able-bodied and let the exiting passengers have right of way, but I’ve seen many rude passengers push frailer passengers back into the car and lose their chance to exit. I applaud your efforts to re-educate these selfish brutes.

  17. Finally Metro does something what the rest of the world already does.

    These things aren’t new folks. These floor decals have been used all over the world for decades. And they work.

  18. Try adding words. Like EXIT and WAIT HERE. Also consider doing a decal for the escalators. People need to stand to the right and allow passengers to walk on the left.

  19. I honestly wouldn’t care if Metro employees yelled at passengers (including me) if I ever tried to board while someone exits. It makes everyone look like a massive herd of animals with no respect for others. I like this new system a lot, but I hope people understand what the graphic means since it’s pretty vague (i.e. just some arrows and yellow pavement).

  20. Decals on the sides of trains right by the door saying to stand to the side and let passengers off before entering the train. Should be multilingual, obviously.