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Oh, SNAP! TAP Fare Turnstiles Will Be Locked Soon at Some Metro Stations

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You know how you wave your TAP card to log in the fare deduction, but those turnstiles at Metro rail stations are really just going through the motions? This month, riders of the Red and Purple lines will encounter functional (read; locked!) fare gates at four stations as Metro preps to get the TAP system and turnstile entry secured and running.

Riders will face locked gates at on the Red Line at Hollywood/Western and Vermont/Beverly stations and on the Purple Line at Wilshire/Normandie and Wilshire/Western stations, says Metro's The Source.

One goal of the fare gate lockdown is to help Metro determine approximately what percentage of passengers are using paper tickets as opposed to TAP cards. Riders using paper tickets won't be shut out, though--employees will be on hand to "TAP-through" those customers, and ideally get them turned on to the idea of using TAP.

The four stations were selected because they do not see a lot of passengers entering using paper transfers, so fewer overall passengers will be affected.

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"Before closure testing can begin, Metrolink and EZ Transit Pass passengers will need to be provided with TAP-enabled cards and ticket vending machines converted to TAP-only operations," adds The Source.

Metro approved the fare gates and their partnership with TAP in February 2008. Installation of the turnstiles was completed in August of 2010, but soon after the effort was labeled a "boondoggle."

The four station gate locking will happen later this month, and the program will run for four weeks.