In case you missed the signs: gates to be latched at Red/Purple Line at Union Station on Wednesday


We’ll have a big post explaining the ins and outs of gate latching and TAP early next week. The gates will be latched at entrances to the Red/Purple Line in Union Station on June 19th and then at other subway stations over the rest of the summer — followed by some light rail stations in the fall.

For the time being, it was pretty hard for Red/Purple Line patrons on Wednesday to miss the news: there’s signage all over the Union Station platform and mezzanine, in addition to  temporary TAP event staff reminding people as they enter and exit the station.

In other TAP-related news, the new arrays of TAP validators adjacent to the platform for the Blue and Expo lines at 7th/Metro Center are now complete. The new validators make it easier for patrons to tap their TAP cards when traveling between the subway and Blue and Expo line trains.

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19 replies

  1. Could we possibly get a day pass that lasts for 24 hours instead of expiring at 3:00am,? I work a graveyad shift and I should be able to go home using the same pass I bought when I began my shift.

  2. Metro should use distance based for all Metro Rail and the BRTs like the Silver Line and the Orange Line. Doesn’t make sense how a person going from Wilshire/Western to Wilshire/Normandie on the Purple Line pays the same $1.50 when there’s one can go from Santa Monica to Azusa for the same $1.50 on the Expo Line once the Regional Connector gets built. A person traveling from Wilshire/Western to Wilshire/Normandie should be like 50 cents because it’s such a short ride and a person going from Santa Monica to Azusa should pay up closer to $5.00 because they’re using more of the system by traveling farther.

    The rest of the bus system should be flat rate for now, and change them later to distance based once everyone gets used to the idea of TAP-in and TAP-out.

  3. Could Metro implement different fare structures for different lines? For example on high-demand buses, they could do something distance based but cap the top fare at $3 or $5. That might reduce usage though but it’s all in the hope of increasing farebox recovery.


    Many years ago, Metro, or RTD as it was called back then, used to have a transfer system. If I remember correctly, the fare was like $1.10 per ride + $0.25 for a transfer. You board the bus and ask for a transfer, paid an extra quarter and the bus driver gave you a paper ticket.

    When RTD went away, Metro decided to end that because they wanted to sell more monthly passes which was more profitable for them. They ended the transfer practice and went with $1.50 per ride, in hopes that people will buy monthly passes instead.

    Unfortunately, the idea backfired by making things worse because it had the effect of forcing the most vulnerable, the low-income transit dependent short distance riders to pay $1.50 + $1.50 for a transfer involving two short rides, or pay up $75 for a monthly pass.

    In the end, the idea didn’t work as Metro hoped to be and Metro is still deep in the red with barely 28% of their operational costs being recovered from fares and sales of passes.

    Many have begun to question Metro’s fare policies and recently, Metro has begun talking about fare reform. The two choices Metro is looking at is to raise fares to $2.00 or so but with free transfers, which is currently the norm in most cities in the US, and the other is to just go with cash value loaded TAP cards and do TAP-in and TAP-out to introduce pay-by-the distance based fares which seems to be the norm in many successful transit agencies abroad and the idea only just making its way into the US with testing going on in cities like Salt Lake City, Chicago, Atlanta, and Philadelphia.

    However, collecting fares and reforming is the most difficult process in running a mass transit system. It doesn’t help that any changes also require a huge revamp of the system considering how big of a fleet and how much stations we now have.

  5. Why is LA the only rail system in the country that penalizes the rider by forcing them to pay for a transfer? A transfer is a pain, not a feature.

  6. Dear Metro,

    I’m happy for the expansion of TAP, as now funds used for the harassing and unfriendly “deputy assistants” can now be put to better use. However, the problem is that the TAP system is not functioning properly. I use a METRO Tap Card, with an academic reduced fare, so I have a quarterly unlimited pass that I must renew every quarter. My TAP card works perfectly fine on the Gold Line, and on the METRO Rapid 720 line, but at Union Station the gates tell me my card has “No Fare” loaded (this began when they were locked last week). I suggest you correct this problem as soon as possible, as multiple calls to TAP customer service have informed me that I have a fully loaded card. It would be a travesty for paying METRO patrons to be harassed by deputy assistants at the gates, or even worse, to be given tickets.

    Thank you.

  7. Now that Metro is going to enforce the fair, it is time for the to step up and start operating like a “real” metropolitan transportation system. Metro consistently runs late unlike systems in New York, Chicago and DC. How about I just pay part of the fair when Metro wants to be timely part of the time. They need knew management and need to stop operating like such a bootleg system.

  8. I’m sure locking these gates will put some of those arrogant fare inspectors out of a job! HA HA HA HA!!

  9. finally. now i don’t feel like my own personal money when i pay for my monthly pass goes to waste. quite honestly, WAY to many people ride for free. thnks for stepping it up, metro.

  10. The escalator etiquette used to be so good, but in recent years as Metro and Metrolink have attracted new riders, it seems very few stand to the right. I agree: stand to the right (as I often do because I have the time) and let others pass on the left while on escalators. It is the civilized thing to do. And when is Metrolink going to provide those great clear pass and ticket badges that they used to have? We could snooze while conductors checked for tickets.

  11. @Lance so true. People seem to look at me as if I’m rude because Ive another train to catch, and like a bat outta hell, I’m yelling “EXCUSE ME!” and charging up the escalator. A screen name here once told me, “if you wanna walk up the escalator, than you should take the stairs.” Well, with that logic, shouldn’t the “standers” be in the elevators? No, just be quick, we are here because we all have somewhere to go. I’m off topic though, but it really should be addressed, it’s a form of courtesy for us who’ve schedules to keep.

  12. Carlos,

    No there isn’t. If you want to look at poor planning, look at the current Green Line LAX/Aviation Station. It’s notorious of poor planning because the narrow turnstiles do not accommodate the needs of passengers with large luggage. You’d think a station for LAX passengers would consider that the majority of the people using this station would be carrying large suitcases. Guess again, it doesn’t!

    People have to struggle with lifting their suitcases past through the narrow turnstiles as they make their way up the station. And since there are no signage that say which entrance leads to the escalator going up or down, you have to guess which one you chose to lift up the suitcases over stairs.

    There is all but one large wide turnstile that leads to the single elevator and it’s always broken.

  13. Narrow gates?? You do realize that Metro has an ADA department which ensures that the needs of ALL patrons, to include obese, disabled, etc.. are met in some adequate way right? I’m sure there are wide enough gates at all stations!

  14. Why did you guys install such narrow gates? There are people with wheelchairs and strollers and luggages too! The gates in San Francisco thought about this beforehand and installed much wider gates. Look at this! Most obese Americans would have to squeeze through to get through these!

  15. There also needs to be “Stand on the Right” Walk on the Left signs on ALL Metro station Escalators… there’re commuters trying to catch a bus or train!!

  16. Steve and Metro, Why weren’t these ticket gates latched and locked at all Metro Stations in the first place?? It doesn’t make sense if your ticket gates let commuters in for Free!! As a Metro Customer who always pays their $1.50 fare its just not right to see other people not paying their fares…

    I would have station staff at each busy station such as 7th St station in downtown and every LA Metro station to help customers in need of assistance and to make sure that everyone pays their inexpensive $1.50 Metro fare…

    Also, the new TAP machines that require customers to TAP from the Blue/ Expo Lines at the 7th St station downtown are much easier to use than before! but if a one-way fare from Culver City to Hollywood costs $1.50 then why do we have to TAP again?

  17. People will still claim ignorance since they either always have headphones on and dont listen to the announcements, dont know how to read, dont listen to the ambassadors that are there to help, etc… I can just see it now.. Any excuse to avoid paying.. Check your fare beforehand if you are not sure of what you have!