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Metro tests new passenger screening system at Union Station

Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Metro hold a two-day pilot program of new body scanner at Union Station in Los Angeles Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. Passengers boarding subway trains in Los Angeles may soon be shuffled through airport-style body scanners that are aimed to detect firearms and explosives. Officials say the machines can scan about 600 people per hour. (AP Photo/Mike Balsamo)
Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Metro hold a two-day pilot program of new body scanner at Union Station in Los Angeles Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. Passengers boarding subway trains in Los Angeles may soon be shuffled through airport-style body scanners that are aimed to detect firearms and explosives. Officials say the machines can scan about 600 people per hour. (AP Photo/Mike Balsamo)
Mike Balsamo/AP

Metro is testing a new passenger screening system Wednesday morning at Union Station. Passengers can see it near the Alameda Street entrance to the Red Line from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Passengers can volunteer to go through it, but no one is required.

The system scans riders for firearms, explosives and other threats. It also includes a facial recognition component. Dave Sotero with Metro says one of the system's advantages is its portability.

"You can move the system and set it up within a half hour and place it within areas where threat levels are increased," he said. "And it enables us to randomize screenings." 

The L.A. transit authority has no immediate plans to install such a system at any of its rail or bus depots.

Next week, Metro will test another screening system with the TSA.