LA Metro’s TAP system: Point / Counterpoint

The Los Angeles Daily News published a story on Saturday questioning the value of LA Metro’s (CA) system of fare gates and turnstiles. Although the turnstiles are in place at subway and light-rail stations, they cannot be locked until paper tickets are phased out in favor of the TAP smart card. Steve Hymon previously clarified the schedule in LA Metro’s blog The Source:

There is still no firm date as to when the gates will actually be locked. The big reason is that the turnstiles do not accept paper tickets that are still dispensed by Metro’s ticket vending machines and used by some other transit agencies — eventually Metro will likely be doing away with paper tickets.

A day later, the Daily News apparently took issue with Metro’s explanation and wrote: “The stalled effort has raised questions from critics about whether the turnstile contract has turned into a costly boondoggle.” Responding to these criticisms, Matt Raymond, Metro’s chief communications officer, said in a statement, “Ridership data yielded by TAP is helping Metro better tailor service to meet demand, and the gated rail stations – only a small part of the TAP program – already has enhanced security and reduced fare evasion even if the gates aren’t yet locked.”

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