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Fare is fair: End of the line for LA subway 'honor system'

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Photo by Frederick Dennstedt via Flickr Creative Commons

Metro ticket machines at the Hollywood/Highland station in Los Angeles, CA.

Metro will begin locking subway station gates on the Red Line and Purple Line as the transit authority tosses from the train its decades-old policy of "honor system" ticket collection.

L.A. rail-riders will start encountering the locked gates this summer, it was decided Thursday in a vote by the board of directors of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Notes Metro's blog, The Source:

The Metro Board approved the staff plan on locking gates at rail stations and converting ticket machines completely to TAP. In other words, the ticket machines will no longer issue paper tickets with the conversion set to begin in a few more months.


As the Metro staff explains, the gates WILL NOT be locked all at once. Rather, the agency will aim for first locking the gates at the Normandie station on the Purple Line subway in late summer and then subsequently lock the gates in the remainder of the subway stations over the following seven months.

Riders were previously expected to be in possession of a paper ticket, and faced a $250 fine if caught on the subway without one. 

The "honor system" cost as much as $7 million annually in lost fare revenue, said Metro officials.

Lisa Brenner can be reached via Twitter @lisa_brenner

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