How we’re working to improve safety and the customer experience at Westlake/MacArthur Park Station

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:  

A concept for the station at street-level from a presentation given to the Metro Board.

•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. 


9 replies

  1. Fare Enforcement. No tap card, no admission.

    Have officers or ambassadors permanently assigned to every set of turnstiles in the system, uninterrupted from opening to closing.

    Metro’s problem is a refusal to simply enforce the rules already on the books. Enough already, we want our trains back.

    And once you’ve cleaned up MacArthur Park, make sure Pershing Square is next.

  2. The simple solution is to enforce fares. Stop wasting everyones time every day Metro. Enforce fares.

  3. This is all fine and good, but it’s way too heavy on words and virtually devoid of substance. Here’s a suggestion for how to address the problems at this – or any other – station: Enforce the fares. (If you can manage to do that, everything else will flow from there).

    • Leave the Metro Plaza space open like it is and build a mini substation for Metro/LAPD for keep the bad influence at bay and away from Metro Plaza.

    • There were people standing guard at the fare gates at the Noho station and numerous Metro employees patrolling the platform, but yet there was someone in a blanket sleeping on the stairs at the station, and someone shouting hysterically on the platform. All were ignored. Fare enforcement doesn’t do anything, and neither do the Metro employees patrolling. It’s all useless because it’s all for show.

      • Primarily because as someone has said: Why would cops/security risk their lives for $1.75?

        I’d like to add that the stunt Metro pulled during the BLM protests and the reception of Metro shoving their nose where it didn’t belong, in addition to the police encounters in the system (some kid getting manhandled by a cop when they wouldn’t remove their feet off the seat) pre-COVID, May or May not have played a role as to why even the cops aren’t bothering to enforce the rules.

        Metro just doesn’t have a spine anymore. But again, I blame the residents of LA county for this. The people in charge are elected officials (I.E. – LA’s mayor). You keep voting for people who don’t really care in, and this is the end result.

        Raise the fares, then actually enforced them, and watch the system immediately improve, plain and simple.

        • In all fairness its not like we get any good candidates to run. They may have good intentions but then big development gets a hold of them and its corruption city. Rather than blame the county why not run for office Dave?

        • Raising fares will cut usage of the station, resulting in more “empty passageways.”