LOS ANGELES – The Metro Board of Directors allocated an additional $1.7 million to ensure 100 percent fare enforcement on all Metrolink Antelope Valley Line trains through June 30, 2015, according to a Metrolink news release.
This funding allows Metrolink to continue a pilot program that began Oct. 31.
“We have known for too long that we need to address this issue, and now we have committed the resources to make certain everyone on Antelope Valley Line trains have paid the proper fare and are following the rules,” stated LA County Mayor Michael Antonovich, a Metro appointee to the Metrolink Board. “Customer service and safety continue to be the highest priorities for Metrolink, and this support will allow the agency to strengthen that pledge.”
Metro is one of five county transportation agencies which govern Metrolink.
The $1.7 million will come from Metrolink-specific sources (Proposition C 10% and Measure R 3%).
In October, Metrolink launched a full fare enforcement pilot program on the Antelope Valley Line to curb fare evasion on the system, adding assistant conductors to trains to help check for tickets.
Metrolink also instituted a policy at Los Angeles Union Station to prevent people without a ticket from boarding the train and provided aggressive fare inspections at the Glendale and Burbank stations to prevent passengers from making “short-buys”, where a passenger buys a ticket for a shorter (and less costly) trip than they intend to make.
The effort has also involved multiple conductor announcements, prominent signage at all stations and periodic security sweeps by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies at intermediate stops along the line.
The initial program was scheduled to conclude in December, but with the additional funding, the program will continue through June 2015.
Metrolink staff will return to the Metro Board by the June 2015 Board meeting to provide an evaluation of the program and its effectiveness in improving the quality and security of Metrolink’s Antelope Valley Line service.
Metrolink’s goal is to secure funding and resources to have 100 percent fare enforcement on all its lines spanning more than 500 miles of track in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, and San Diego counties.
The initial exercise has allowed Metrolink to ensure people on the trains have valid fare, while improving the travel experience for passengers. As a result, revenues collected in November were higher than expected and customer satisfaction is higher on the Antelope Valley Line as fares are being checked more regularly and security is more prevalent on trains.
The Antelope Valley Line serves the cities of Palmdale, Lancaster, Los Angeles, Glendale, Burbank, San Fernando and Santa Clarita, along with unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.
Additional assistant conductors provide significant benefit in terms of fare enforcement, passenger communications and customer service.
For more information on Metrolink, visit www.metrolinktrains.com.