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Metro Cracks Down On Fare Jumpers With New TAP Cards

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is cracking down on commuters who board Metro trains without paying the fare.

Up until Wednesday, the Red and Purple subway lines operated on an honor system and as a result, many people rode trains for free.

A 10:30 a.m. news conference outlined the new policy requiring TAP cards for riders.

The TAP card is a durable plastic card that contains a smart chip that allows travelers to buy and electronically load Metro passes, some regional and local transit line passes, electronic cash, or any combination of the three.

“You’ll need this TAP card to pass through the turn styles . . . Over the summer, we’ll be latching the gates throughout the Red Line and Purple lines,” Metro spokesman Paul Gonzales said.

By the end of Feb. 2014, 41 of Metro’s 81 rail stations will be latched on the rail system across Los Angeles.

“Latching means that the turnstiles will not be free-flowing until the TAP card has been used that shows the correct fare has been paid,” he said.

The new policy will bring in an additional $7 million a year in revenue for the Red Line alone, Gonzales said.

TAP cards cost $1 and can be reloaded. Train fares are $1.50 for a single ride, or $5 for a day pass.

Monthly and weekly passes are also available.

Riders could face fines if they’re caught on a train without proof of fare payment.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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