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LA Transit to get in on some of that turnstile cash

The LA Times reports on the Transportation Authority’s decision to forgo the honor system for passenger ticket-taking in hopes of earning what they estimate to be $5.5 million annually on the 5% of riders who ride without paying. The cost of installing 275 turnstiles, as proposed by the MTA, would be $30 million in installation and $1 million in annual maintenance.

The move would be a major cultural shift for L.A.’s rail system, which was designed to have a more open feel than those in eastern cities, with their gates, turnstiles and barriers.

I have to admit, I know of LA’s rail system only anecdotally at this point. For I, like most residents of Los Angeles, rely on my car for the daily commute. My own is particularly brutal, which, from East LA to the coast in Santa Monica, means an hour of road time each way. When a solution exists that doesn’t fall far short of riders’ expectations, I’ll be ready and eager to ditch my car.

If you’ve never seen the LA Metro before or didn’t know it existed, there is some fantastic evidence to be found on flickr.