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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Los Angeles MTA adds fare inspectors to increase security


Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) recently deployed 32 fare inspectors to enhance security at Metro Red Line stations and the 7th Street/Metro Center Blue Line transfer station.

Acting on behalf of the L.A. Sheriff’s Department, non-commissioned civilians will be able to write citations for fare evasion, and eating and drinking, and can call the sheriff’s department for backup. The fare inspectors also will help passengers with directions and other information.

"MTA will have more station security than it has ever had before with the introduction of these fare inspectors," said Gerald Francis, general manager of rail operations in a prepared statement.

Inspectors wear uniforms to make them visible to passengers, are equipped with the same radios that sheriff deputies use, and can attend security briefings with LA MTA sheriff’s deputies and security officers.

Inspector training included heavy-and light-rail systems safety, sheriff’s department procedures, tactical communications, fare media recognition and suspicious device identification.

The authority plans to add another 18 inspectors to Metro Gold Line stations when it opens this summer.

Last month, LA MTA contracted with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department to take over policing and security details on the authority’s system. The sheriff’s department will evaluate the fare inspector program before considering whether to expand inspector service on other Metro rail lines.

The inspectors are in addition to — not a replacement of — regular sheriff’s deputies assigned to Metro Rail operations, LA MTA said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/2/2003