As part of our ongoing efforts to improve public safety and clean up our system, we’re making some changes at our Westlake/MacArthur Station. We’ve experienced too many drug overdoses and calls to police from the station — and the status quo is not acceptable to you, our riders, or us.
Point of emphasis: we want all our customers — of all backgrounds and income levels — to feel welcome and safe using Metro. But changes are needed at Westlake/MacArthur Park Station to stop drug use, crime and loitering. The station is a busy stop along the B (Red) and D (Purple) Lines for the many residents in the neighborhood and visitors to the park – and our riders deserve a better experience no matter the day or time.
Here are some of the actions we’re taking at Westlake/MacArthur Park Station:
•Working with neighborhood stakeholders and our City and County partners to reimagine the vendor marketplace and transform the plaza into a safe and active community space that supports local entrepreneurs and community events. You’ve probably already noticed some of the changes taking place: we’re making the plaza a little smaller by fencing off parts of it that are out of public view and where illegal activity has occurred.
•We’re closing the secondary north entrance to the station to funnel all riders into the primary plaza entrance, which is just steps away. More foot traffic through our main entrance provides strength in numbers – something the public has requested. Having a single entrance allows us to better patrol the station and reduce misuse of empty station corridors.
•We’re adding lighting and closed-circuit cameras to the plaza to create a safer atmosphere and allow us to keep a better eye on activity there.
•Our new Metro Ambassadors are at the station to assist riders, help identify issues and create a more welcoming atmosphere. Our homeless outreach teams are also helping to connect unhoused riders and others who need help with social services.
•We’re adding a new station kiosk that will be fully staffed and easily visible to the public during station hours — this will help us assist with customer questions and monitor the fare gates. We want the station to only be used by those using transit. Not misused by loiterers.
•Many of you have noticed that we’re playing music over the public-address speakers, as do many other types of businesses and municipalities. The idea is to create an atmosphere that is comfortable for spending short amounts of time transiting through our station, but not conducive to hours-long loitering. We are monitoring the volume of the music, as well as customer feedback.
•We’re also making more public address announcements to remind riders that the station is being monitored. As you may have heard, we’ve also increased enforcement against illegal drug use on our system.
•We’ve added a dedicated custodial crew to the station and we’re pressure washing several times a week. As with the plaza, we’re upgrading lighting within the station, as well as the closed-circuit cameras.
•We’re also expanding our intrusion system to keep trespassers from entering subway tunnels from the station. This has been a serious problem that can lead to train-people collisions. Trust us on this: the train withstands those collisions better than the people. We must also halt service when police need to enter tunnels to remove trespassers. That leads to major service delays for everyone using the subway.
Here is the Metro staff report on the station that was sent to the Metro Board of Directors. The above are the highlights.
We appreciate your help to make our system more welcoming and pleasant to use. If you have a question or concern, please ask any member of our staff. You can also reach our security team 24/7 by calling 888.950.SAFE (7233) or using the free Transit Watch app to text and send photos to our security staff. Get the app here for iPhones and here for Android phones.