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Metro unveils "tap-to-exit" program in hopes of bolstering passenger safety

Metro's "tap-to-exit" program hopes to increase passenger safety and bring end to violence
Metro's "tap-to-exit" program hopes to increase passenger safety and bring end to violence 02:45

A concerted effort to combat the disturbing trend of violence plaguing Metro transportation was unveiled on Tuesday, which will require passengers to use their fare card to actually exit a subway station. 

The program hopes to provide assurance that people onboard the trains actually paid the fare before boarding the line, which is a direct response to comments from Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna, who recently noted that the majority of people arrested or detained for crime did not pay the proper fare to board in the first place. 

Passengers will be required to use their TAP cards to pay the before before boarding a bus or a train, and starting on Tuesday, passengers exiting the Metro B Line train at the North Hollywood station were also required to tap their fare card again to leave the station. 

Read more: A timeline of violence on Metro buses and trains since the beginning of 2024

On top of the aim to curb violence, Metro officials say it's an effort to boost rider compliance with fare requirements. People who do not pay or comply with the program are subject to citation or removal from the system entirely. 

Tapping the card upon exit will confirm that fare was paid for the trip. Those who do not tap on the way in will be charged when they tap to exit, but could still be subject to citation or removal from the system for not paying upon boarding. 

Officials also noted that similar programs are already in place for other systems like the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in the San Francisco/Oakland area, the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Metropolitan Atlanta Regional Transit Authority. 

"We have also increased the visible presence of our teams at North Hollywood Station," Metro said in a statement. "These include our Blue Shirts, who provide assistance with our Ticket Vending Machines, our Metro Ambassadors, who help riders navigate the system, connect you to resources and report issues they see, as well as our law enforcement partners, and our Transit Security Officers who enforce the Code of Conduct."

They continued to note that they are "listening to your feedback" and that this is one of many steps that are being taken in hopes of improving both safety and cleanliness of the transit system. 

The moves comes after weeks of troubling incidents happening on board Metro transportation and inside of their stations, which have resulted in two deaths and multiple hospitalizations just since the beginning of April. 

Last week, the Metro Board approved two motions that were directed at boosting safety for passengers, which call for immediate deployment of more law enforcement on the system and at stations, as well as exploring possible technological improvements that can be made on buses, trains and at stations. 

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