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LA Metro blasts classical music in attempt to make train station safer

LA Metro blasts classical music in attempt to make train station safer
LA Metro blasts classical music in attempt to make train station safer 03:14

Classical music blasts from the public speakers throughout the Los Angeles Metro station at the Westlake/MacArthur Park stop as part of a new plan hoping to drive down crime and increase ridership. 

"The music is appropriate for spending maybe five to ten minutes in the station and catching your train, not hanging out all day inside the station," said Dave Sotero, a Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesperson. 

The transportation authority is trying to address the rapidly declining ridership as many fear for their safety amid higher crime rates. According to Metro, the most serious violent crimes — including assault, murder, rape and robbery — rose 24% since 2021.

Across the transportation system, there were 21 deaths reported in 2022. There have been 21 deaths on Metro buses and trains in the first three months of 2023.

"It's been a problem," said Sotero. "It's a very dense urban environment. We're taking a fresh reimagined approach and trying some new things we haven't done before in hopes of improvising the situation for this station."

That's where classical music comes into play. As part of a pilot program at the Westlake/MacArthur station, Metro will introduce Metro Ambassadors, who are unarmed security guards, who can summon the police if needed.

Additionally, Metro has limited entrances and exits to only the main turnstiles, as well as adding more lighting and security cameras. 

Riders said they've seen a difference but are not sold on it. 

"You have a more peaceful and pleasant commute, which for us is better," said rider Alex Tittle. "For [unhoused], it's worse. There's no solution to their problem."

Metro said that the pilot programs have worked with crime down 20% and report of vandalism, graffiti and cleanup is down 50%. The agency will re-evaluate this program in the fall to see its faults and successes before bringing it to other stations.

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