With $46 Million Price Tag, MTA Turnstiles Remain Unlocked

As Los Angeles MTA's plan to fully implement its TAP card program stalls, so does the plan to lock the turnstiles that the agency had installed to deter riders from not paying.

"Originally, Metro estimated it would save $3 million to $6 million annually using locking turnstiles and up to $7 million a year on reduced fare inspector costs. Metro officials said they had found a 5 percent fare evasion rate across all the rail lines and they expected the new system to pay for itself in four years.

In 2008, the Metro board approved a 10-year, $46 million lease contract with Cubic Transportation Systems Inc. to install the locking gates – similar to those in use in most other big-city systems, like New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

Currently they operate as unlocked turnstiles, but the goal of having them lock to prevent fare evasion remains far off, officials acknowledge. That means Metro will likely have to spend more money for attendants to man the stations.

Raymond said one of the main obstacles to converting to the TAP system has been getting the county's 16 municipal bus operators and Metrolink to agree to use the TAP cards."

Full Story: MTA's $46M system of locking turnstiles sits unused, waiting for fare cards to be adopted

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