The first phase of gate latching throughout the 16-station Metro’s Red/Purple line concludes today with operations at the 7th Street/Metro Center subway station, a process that began June 19 at Union Station to bring greater convenience, accountability and efficiency to all Metro riders.
Gate latching requires passengers to use a TAP card loaded with appropriate fare to pass through turnstiles at rail stations. TAP helps to strengthen fare enforcement and is utilized as fare media on eleven other transportation providers including Metrolink, Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Antelope Valley, Torrance, Foothill and Montebello. By the end of 2014 a total of 25 carriers will be a part of TAP creating, for the first time, a seamless, regional transit system.
“Now that latching operations on Metro’s subway are being completed, we’ll soon start latching procedures on five stations on the Gold Line, which serves commuters from Pasadena to East Los Angeles,” said David Sutton, deputy executive officer of TAP for Metro. “Metro will be installing new gate help telephones at all latched Gold Line locations and the schedule calls for everything to be completed by Oct. 14.”
Metro is analyzing data to determine if gate latching has affected fare evasion, ridership and safety with a report to the board of directors expected later this fall.
Metro and its transit partners have been rolling out TAP for several years and in addition to tracking fares, TAP gathers data on passenger usage so service can be adjusted to demand.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies and civilian security personnel provide added security on board trains and buses as well as at transit facilities and stations. They randomly check patrons on trains and stations using electronic fare checkers to ensure proper payment is made. With the new fare gating system in place, Metro can better monitor passenger flow and usage of rail stations.
Following latching on the Gold Line, 14 stations on the Metro Green line and six stations on the Metro Blue Line are scheduled to be latched by February 2014. Because of size limitations on platforms and other engineering concerns, not all stations can be latched. Metro officials note that the stations are closely monitored from the rail operations center and in the event of any equipment failures or other issues, gates can be unlatched remotely. The gates also can be accessed by customers in wheelchairs. Extra customer support representatives are assigned at 7th Street/Metro Center to provide assistance.