The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (CA) began latching gates at Union Station, marking the beginning of the end of the honor system for rail riders.
Under the old system, passengers paid their fare and showed their ticket to an officer if asked. Now passengers will be required to use a Transit Access Pass (TAP) card to enter the station. Metro’s goal is to reduce fare evasion and expects to recoup $6-$9 million a year in increased subway revenues. Scofflaws risk a fine of $250 for not paying.
Why, by the way, does Metro say “latch” instead of “lock?” A post on The Source provides the answer:
Locked implies that customers may be locked out, whereas latched implies customers will be able to pass through the gates. In other words, Metro feels like “latched” is a more accurate way of saying it.
The turnstile gates for the Purple and Red lines at Union Station were the first to be latched, with another 15 gates to be latched by the end of the summer. Some Gold, Blue, and Green line stations will follow in the fall. Metro will step up fare enforcement at stations that cannot accommodate turnstiles. Link to full story in KTLA.
Meanwhile, Xerox and Cubic teamed up to help ensure that passengers could use their TAP cards with the multiple operators that comprise the southern California regional transportation network. “The new TAP payment system is a tremendous improvement to Southern California’s transit network that will save passengers time and reduce stress between transfers,” said Robert Turnauckas, chief administrative officer of Metrolink, in a statement. Xerox manages 118 ticket vending machines throughout the region; Cubic designed, built, installed and integrated the universal fare system. By 2014, two dozen transit providers will be part of the TAP network.
Metro originally announced plans to latch all fare gates last summer.
Photo credit: SpokkerJones/Flickr