Fare Gates for Metro Trains Are Coming, But Slowly

7_13_2009_turnstiles.jpgPhoto of PATH Station in Newark, NJ: Ho0n/Flickr
Despite a Board Report available on Metro's website that states that fare gates will be installed on all Metro rail lines by the end of the year (look on page 16 of this link); Meto staff reports that gates aren't going to be up and running anytime soon.  Installation of gates has just begun at the Wilshire/Normandie Purple Line Station, but we're not at the point where we can even see the gates yet, they should start physically being installed by the end of the week or early next week.

Once the Wilshire/Normandie installation is completed, Metro will continue along the Red and Purple Lines, a process that Rick Jager estimates could take up to six months before moving on to the Green Line, then the Blue Line and finally, the Gold Line.  Metro hasn't yet completed installation for the pilot program at certain Gold Line stations that was, according to the schedule linked to above, supposed to be completed by the end of June.  A start date for the turnstiles to be operational hasn't been announced, nor whether they will begin operation "piecemeal" or wait until the system is installed at every rail stop.

While I still roll my eyes at the thought that these gates will Keep Us Safe From Terrorists, my real concerns are whether or not the gates will be a burden to those using the rails who are bringing extra baggage, baby strollers, bicycles or whatever onto the trains and whether or not the gates will cause a backup and make people miss their trains.

I'm going to be out of town at the end of this week and start of next, so if any Streetsblogger wants to take some pictures of the turnstiles as they're installed and describe how easy they are to use, there is a Streetfilms T-shirt in it for you.  Email me at damien@streetsblog.org.