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Los Angeles area transportation and municipal officials earlier this week ceremoniously latched entrance gates at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (LACMTA) Metro Red and Purple lines at Union Station.The gate-latching demonstration marked the evolution of a regional public transportation system, LACMTA officials said in a press release."[It] ushers in a new era of partnership with Metrolink and our municipal operators in creating a seamless regional transit network bound by transit access pass (TAP) technology throughout southern California," said LACMTA Chairman Michael Antonovich. " We now will have stronger fare enforcement and ridership data that will help Metro create a more secure, customer-friendly system."The latching of gates at Metro rail stations will be phased in during the next six months, staring with subway stations this summer, then light-rail stations. The system will require riders to use a TAP card to access Metro rail and Metrolink's commuter-rail network that serves Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.TAP also can be used on Metro buses and those operated by municipal bus systems. Currently, there are 10 transit carriers integrated with the TAP program; next year, there will be 25, LACMTA officials said.Metro and its transit partners have been rolling out TAP for several years. The recent action will make Metro rail stations more secure and help reduce fare evasion, LACMTA officials said."Today, we have 87 miles of track on six rail lines with nearly 360,000 daily boardings, including many long-distance Metrolink commuters who transfer at Union Station," said L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "It's time we latched the gates in our stations so we can better manage operations and enhance security."
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