TAP Solution for Metrolink 2.0

My last Metro Transit Access Pass (TAP) related post detailed the vexing situation regarding TAP and Metrolink’s patrons and the ongoing inability of Metro and Metrolink to find a means for Metrolink riders to be able to pass through the Red and Purple Line station gates after they are locked. I couldn’t hide my incredulity that after all these years of dancing around this situation the solution being proposed involved temporary paper TAP cards being distributed by hand to Metrolink patrons daily for three months after which temporary plastic 30-day TAP cards would be provided by Metro for distribution to Metrolink’s riders who purchase a monthly pass.

As my follow-up post noted, this well intentioned but rather cumbersome solution was rejected by Metrolink’s Board which informed its staff that efforts should instead be made to find a more permanent solution and a request be made to Metro that it delay the locking of the gates until that more permanent solution can be found. Scott Johnson, Assistant Public Affairs Officer at Metrolink, stated the situation at that point stood as constituting “an ongoing collaboration” between the two agencies. Also that “No definitive timetable has been established” And “… The issue will continue to be discussed through internal meetings, alongside public committee and board meetings”.

Thursday at the Metro Board Executive Management Committee meeting the new solutions will be debated.

I guess one solace is with either of the options being considered the Los Angeles County municipal carriers will still honor Metrolink fare media for transfer, which would include the LADOT DASH buses that ply the streets of downtown Los Angeles and which many Metrolink riders already avail themselves of (and maybe even many more will hereafter if they have to face in the alternative paying an extra charge to ride the subway).

Amusingly the staff report details the possible financial repercussions to Metro if this effort goes forward but is mum about the potential costs for Metrolink. And since Metro is among the agencies that funds Metrolink it is in essence funding both ends of this enterprise.

Words truly fail me.

  • Rms492

    Don’t you think its best that Metrolink just do away with this “free local transit connection” thing?  Perhaps it would lower Metrolink’s high fares.
    Might be easiest for all.  What other commuter rail does that?  Does CalTrain (SF Bay Area) offer “free transit connections” to MUNI, BART, etc? 

  • Erik Griswold

    But can the DASH system handle the loads that the Red/Purple Lines carry out of Union Station each day? 

    A really incredible pickle that the two agencies are in over Metro’s turnstile fetish.  And making transit less attractive (especially for the much-outed last mile) in this market where transit users are already looked apon as being mentally defective is effing insane. 

    Let’s just hope somebody has the fortitude to end this madness now, rip out the turnstiles and try to sell them to an agency who might need them right away:

    http://youtu.be/afe2TF6yi5Q

  • ry

    Is it so hard for Metro and Metrolink to put together a (hugely expensive) proposal that would convert Metrolink to TAP, complete with new TVMs and “Tag on, Tag off” pylons similar to CalTrain?  I mean, at least that way, there’s a “fully deployed” cost that can be worked backward as the authority develops its less comprehensive solution.

  • Erik Griswold

    MBTA offers it from Commuter Rail to Rail Transit in Boston.

    CalTrain is on the Clipper Card as is BART and MUNI (who both have staffed stations so that problems can be solved)And every other large city outside of North America does it.  But we’re number 1 so why would we need to compete with them?