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38 the violation would be considered a Class C misde- qualified to ride on a reduced fare)--About 26% of meanor (i.e., a relatively minor offense in the same cat- the LRT and 32% of the TRE fare evasions were for egory as a traffic ticket). For citations that go through these violations. judicial resolution, DART receives $5 for each citation. For both LRT and TRE services, DART bases its fare eva- There are three primary features of DART's in-house sion measurements on the 100% saturation counts within a administrative remedy: given LRT/TRE sector. Examining LRT services only, the January 2011 saturation data indicated a rate that averaged 1. The administrative choice decriminalizes fare eva- about 3%, which was within the agency's goal. sion --Prior to 2003, juvenile fare evaders were charged with "theft of service," and if they did not pay A record is not kept of inspections or passenger contacts the fine, the offense was made part of their criminal involved with the FEOs checking for PoP. However, based record. This is no longer the case. on extrapolation of the 3% fare evasion rate, it appears that the overall inspection rate is roughly about 7% of DART's 2. There is a financial incentive for the rider to select the total LRT ridership [i.e., calculated assuming 3,080 evasions administrative choice --If the administrative choice per average month in 2010 (the number of evasion citations is followed then an "administrative fee" of $75 is issued was 29,929 and the number of warnings, 6,177, for charged. In comparison, the minimum fine of $150-- a total of 36,106, or 3,080 per month) and an average 2010 and ranging up to $500--would be the cost for being monthly ridership of 1,500,000]. found guilty if the judicial alternative is chosen. Future Smart Card Project Under Way 3. There is a revenue return to DART--All the revenue from the administrative process is kept by DART and A smart card procurement process is under way, with a helps offset the costs of the process and fare inspec- late 2011 award scheduled. The resulting project will be tion. From 2004 to 2010, the annual fine revenue broad and will evaluate alternatives of acquiring replace- returned to DART from this process has increased ment TVMs or procuring accessories to the existing TVMs. from $48,000 to $182,000. DART has two primary objectives with its smart card proj- ect: to minimize the number of fare media and to achieve a DART estimates that 20% to 30% of the citations issued goal of 80% noncash card users. are resolved via the administrative alternative. DART tries to make it relatively easy to select this option: First, it is less expensive, and second, it does not require an appearance at LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA--LOS ANGELES the Justice of the Peace Court with the possibility of criminal COUNTY METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION charges and a possible fine of more than $500. The DART AUTHORITY (LA METRO) Store website devotes five pages to the subject of fare eva- sion citations, with instructions for payment and 14 frequently The third-largest public transportation system in the United asked questions. States, Los Angeles Metro operates a system of bus and rail services that includes the following high-capacity services Fare Compliance and Inspection (see Figure 16): For FY 2011, the police department established a goal of hav- · Orange Line --BRT, also referred to as "Metro Liner"; ing an LRT evasion rate no greater than 3.75% (22). Satura- · Blue, Gold, and Green Lines --LRT; tion inspections conducted in mid-January 2011 found the · Red and Purple Lines --HRT subway. These lines and following fare evasion characteristics: the Blue, Gold, and Green Lines are also collectively referred to as "Metro Rail." · LRT had generally lower evasion than the TRE -- During the day, the range for LRT was 2.1% to 3.9%, These high-capacity services combine to form a network whereas the TRE ranged between 2.7% and 6.3%. of 73 mi (117 km) of rail transit and 14 mi (22.4 km) of BRT · The off-peak period experienced higher evasion rates service. The rail and BRT lines overlay an extensive system than peak periods --For LRT, the range was 2.7% to of bus routes (Metro Local, Metro Express, Metro Rapid). 3.9%; for the TRE, it was 4.9% to 6.3%. In addition, LA Metro coordinates county-wide transit plans · Fare evasion was lowest during the a.m. peak period-- and policies for 16 bus operations provided by municipal LRT was 2.1%, and the TRE was 2.7%. operators. Including special shuttles, expresses, and para- · A substantial number of evasions were for "reduced transit services, 46 municipal bus operations are coordinated pass violations" (i.e., where the individual was not under the LA Metro "umbrella" of transit services.
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39 FIGURE 16 LA Metro high-capacity transit network map. LA Metro was created by state legislation and has other core The Orange Line is located in the San Fernando Valley responsibilities besides operation of transit services, including of Los Angeles and runs from the northern terminus of the responsibility for planning and developing highway and mass Metro Red Line in North Hollywood to the Warner Center transit facilities and services in Los Angeles County. in Woodland Hills. This eastwest line is operated over a landscaped 13-mi (20.8-km) exclusive transit facility con- Orange Line BRT structed in the former Southern Pacific Railroad right-of- way and 1.0 mi (1.6 km) of city streets using 60-ft (18.3-m) Of interest as a case study is LA Metro's use of PoP across articulated low-floor buses, branded as "Metro Liners." all modes--BRT, LRT, and HRT. In particular, the Metro Weekday ridership on the Orange Line in December 2010 Orange line is of interest because it is an example of BRT ser- was 23,957; for Saturdays, it was 14,369, and Sunday/holi- vice operated in a primarily reserved off-street right-of-way. days, 9,130.
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40 Thirteen stations are provided along the line, spaced · Improved fare integration with bus and light rail, approximately 1 mi apart and generally serving major activity · Improvement in fare equipment reliability, and centers such as the Van Nuys Government Center; the Warner · Reductions in system operating and maintenance costs. Center, which is the third-largest employment center in Los Angeles County; and two colleges. There are park-and-ride The report also cited "favorable acceptance" of barrier- lots at five stations, totaling about 3,000 parking spaces. The free systems in North America, noting that "San Diego, Cal- stations feature signage displaying operating information and gary and Edmonton are successfully using barrier-free fare such amenities as public telephones, bicycle racks, TVMs, collection on their light rail lines" and "Buffalo, Portland security cameras, and distinctive original art. Operational and Vancouver have successfully implemented barrier-free enhancements include traffic signal priority on the city street fare collection on their light rail and automated guideway portion, stations with raised platforms to allow for faster bus systems." loading and deboarding, and intelligent transportation system technologies that include the ability to maintain constant dis- At the same time, SCRTD decided to design its Red Line tances between buses and to provide passengers with visual for barrier equipment to preserve the option of converting to displays telling them when the next bus will arrive. a barrier system in the future. It was also noted that the Red Line stations, as well as the LACTC's Blue Line stations, Basis for Decision to Use Proof-of-Payment Fare were to be designated "paid areas" with the TVMs placed Collection off-platform. Proof-of-payment fare collection was initially decided on as Now, 25 years later, all of LA's high-capacity transit lines part of the early development decisions related to LA Met- have been designed to use PoP fare collection. However, as ro's first high-capacity line, the Blue Line, which opened for noted above, the Red Line was also designed to incorporate revenue service in 1990. The other high-capacity lines fol- gates and turnstiles in the future. The topic of whether to lowed: Red Line in 1993, Green Line in 1995, Gold Line in add gates has been brought up regularly over the years, espe- 2003, and Orange Line in 2005. cially after the Red Line opened in 1993. Currently, as dis- cussed later in this case study, a capital improvement project In the 1980s when the rail transit development pro- to install gates at all Red Line stations and many of the Blue, cess was under way in Los Angeles, two organizations Gold, and Green Line stations is under way. were involved: Southern California Rapid Transit District (SCRTD) and Los Angeles County Transportation Commis- Fare Media Used and Availability sion (LACTC). The two agencies were combined in 1993 to form the present-day LA Metro. At 25%, single-ride fares make up the second-largest cat- egory of fare media used. LA Metro riders primarily (39%) SCRTD was responsible for the eventual Red Line HRT rely on other fare media such as weekly passes, transfers project, and LACTC was responsible for the Blue Line LRT (to transfer to municipal operators), freeway express tick- project. From the start of its development process, LACTC ets and upgrades, tokens, and student monthly passes. Day essentially assumed that the Blue Line would use PoP fare passes (see Figure 17) and monthly passes are also available, collection. However, in a 1982 action by the SCRTD Board including an EZ transit pass that permits travel on most other of Directors, a barrier system was recommended for the Red local operators. Line. The staff report noted, "The primary reason for not selecting barrier-free was the lack of experience with it on In 2001, LA Metro adopted smart card technology as its a North American high-volume heavy-rail system and the future multimodal, multioperator fare media system. The associated risk it was felt that SCRTD would be taking with objective was to allow seamless travel on all LA Metro ser- an unproven concept" (23). vices as well as on Metrolink (the regional commuter rail system) and the municipal operator systems (also referred to Subsequently, in 1986, the SCRTD board changed its as "Munis"). The system was called Transit Access Pass, or position and decided to use PoP on the Red Line. The staff TAP. The acronym is also used in a variety of ways to describe report cited above included a review of experience with bar- how to use the new card (e.g., to "TAP" on to the system). rier-free fare collection in North America and internation- ally. It also considered fraud rates in Los Angeles associated Riders who purchase TAP cards and use them in the PoP with other industries. In the report, SCRTD staff built a case portion of the system must tap on the target of a stand-alone for the use of PoP, noting these benefits of proceeding with a verification device or TVM located on the station platform barrier-free system: or on the target located on the right side of a turnstile. If transferring, then the user must repeat the tap before board- · A significant reduction in the procurement cost of the ing the next line. There is no visible printing added to the fare collection equipment, TAP card. The cards can be used to store value or to pur-
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41 chase a time period, such as a month. They are durable plas- tic with an electronic chip inside to permit reuse once the time has expired or the value has gotten low. Currently, six of the 16 Munis also use the TAP cards. The various fare idio- syncrasies represented by LA Metro and the Munis present a complicated set of interoperator fares and transfer condi- tions. This set of complexities has slowed the pace of prog- ress toward having all operators accept the TAP card. The TVMs total 333 for the 92 stations on the combination of Orange Line and rail network. They can issue single-ride tickets and day passes and "reload" TAP cards. The machines accept credit and debit cards and bills and can provide bill change. Public Information Regarding Proof-of-Payment System LA Metro makes considerable public information available about its fare collection system, mainly as related to its rela- tively new TAP card. There are signs on-vehicle, and there are signs on all station platforms noting that PoP is required (as shown in Figures 18 and 19 from Orange Line BRT sta- tions). The signs, which state "Ticket Required Beyond This Point," are on the approaches to all stations and above the gates in stations where there are gates past a certain point. As shown in Figure 20, on trains there are also post- ers reminding riders about tapping the TAP card that read "Don't Forget to TAP. It's Required!" Compared with other operators, LA Metro maintains FIGURE 17 LA Metro reduced-fare day pass. a diverse set of information brochures on various aspects FIGURE 18 LA Metro column-posted public information sign alerting passengers to PoP on Orange Line at entrance to BRT platform.
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42 FIGURE 19 LA Metro overhead public information sign alerting passengers to PoP on Orange Line BRT platform. FIGURE 20 LA Metro public information sign reminding users to TAP.
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43 of its fare collection system. For instance, examples of LA LA Metro to be 5.5%, with the Orange Line essentially at the Metro's printed public information materials include the fol- average (5.6%) (10 ). Key findings from this 2007 assessment lowing brochures: include the following: · Metro Bus and Metro Rail Rider's Guide --Fares, · Fifteen percent of the riders without valid fares had TAP Cards, Safety Tips, Disabled Services, Contact incorrect fares; that is, these were riders with PoP but Information, and More! In this brochure there is a sec- who were short the required fare for their rides (e.g., tion on "Paying your fare," which describes the need to age-ineligible). pay the fare before boarding along with a warning that · Fare evasion rates differed by day of the week: 5% "Failure to pay the proper fare is a violation of Section weekdays, 6% Saturdays, 7% Sundays. 640 Penal Code and may result in a fine up to $250 and · Evenings had the highest evasion rates of 8% to 10%. 48 hours community service." · The lowest evasion rates, 3% to 5%, were observed · TAP User's Guide. during the morning and afternoon peak periods. · Metro Rail turnstiles have new lighted alerts. · Switch to Direct Deposit on a TAP ReadyCARD. LA Metro's monthly fare enforcement summaries routinely · One Card for Everything, The benefits of a prepaid show lower evasion rates than the 2007 study. The sheriff's Visa card plus a TAP card--use it everywhere! TSB prepares monthly crime analysis summaries in which · College/Vocational TAP Card Application. detailed fare inspection and evasion statistics are recorded. · Seniors: Apply for your TAP card now. For 2010 (11 months through November), total fare evasion, · TAP is replacing Disabled ID cards, stamps & passes. including warnings, reflected the following evasion rates: · Don't forget to TAP. It's required! Fare Enforcement Function LRT LA Metro has had a contract with the Los Angeles County Blue Line 0.7% Sheriff's Department for all law enforcement services related to transit. For this purpose, the sheriff's department Gold Line 0.6% has set up a separate Transit Services Bureau (TSB), which is located within LA Metro's offices. Green Line 0.9% With 300 law enforcement personnel providing service BRT to LA Metro, the TSB is the second-largest transit policing force in the United States. Of this total force, 71 (or 24%) Orange Line 0.8% are sheriff's security assistants and are the personnel largely responsible for fare enforcement on the rail transit lines and HRT the Orange Line. The 229 uniformed deputies have broader responsibilities and aid fare enforcement as required (e.g., Red Line 0.8% when sweeps are performed). The vast majority (90%) of the force have full police powers. "Modified" Proof-of-Payment Fare Collection Fare Compliance and Inspection PoP continues as the fare collection system for these high- When the region's first modern rail line, the Blue Line, capacity lines. However, in 2008, LA Metro proceeded with opened for service in 1990, the board wanted to make sure a project to install gates/turnstiles at most of the stations on that a strong enforcement message was sent to the riders. its high-capacity network. The objective was to have 85% of Consequently, the board mandated an inspection rate of all high-capacity system riders pass through gates. Further, 25%. Over time, this inspection rate has been moderated and all future LA Metro rail lines are to be designed for gates. today stands at 10%. As of December 2010, the inspection As a result, most of Metro's rail stations today have a "modi- rate was below that level, ranging from just over 9% on the fied" PoP fare collection system in place. There is still fare Red Line to 23% on the Gold Line. The inspection rates are inspection and PoP in force in addition to the gates. 17.5% for the rail lines (i.e., both LRT and HRT) and 16.4% for the Orange Line. The basis for going to a modified PoP system was con- firmed by the LA Metro Board of Directors in February The board's policy objective is to limit fare evasion to less 2008, when it approved a Metro Rail Gating project in which than 2%. Related to the subject of fare evasion, an October all Red and Green Line stations would have gates added, 2007 study found fare evasion for all high-capacity lines for plus some strategic stations on the Blue and Gold Lines (24).
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44 With all stations at grade level, the Orange Line is not part standard TAP card and two transactions on a limited of the gating project. The staff report made the case for the use ticket. gating program as a · Installation of Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) Cameras -- These new cameras focus on the gated areas to ...positive business case for cost recovery through increased fare collection and reductions in contracted complement the gated system and also provide a com- fare checking personnel has also been demonstrated. munication assist to patrons. The recommended gating alternative facilitates the continued successful operation and expansion of Metro heavy and light rail system and plays an integral role in the anticipated success of the Universal Fare System and TAP smart card implementation. The report provided a list of four "tenets" for gating most Metro Rail stations: 1. Public safety is improved by gating. 2. Gating improves rail station security and is a deter- rent to crime. 3. Gating is not a deterrent to the cash-paying public. 4. The proposed gating alternative presents a positive business case. In addition, the staff report noted that there were other benefits to gating: "accurate, exact time boarding/disembar- kation data; facilitation of fully functional distance based- fare programs; facilitation of new programs and revenue opportunities in combination with national credit card issu- ers." By early 2011, the gates were in place but were open in both directions. Several associated smaller capital projects have accompanied the gating: FIGURE 21 Handheld verification device used by LA Metro sheriff's deputy assistants for fare inspection of TAP cards. · Alert Gating Program --A colored lighted alert is located on each gate and registers whether the entering With the addition of gates to 70% of the rail stations, fare patron has a valid fare, insufficient value of the TAP enforcement has benefited by controlled entrances. However, card, or did not tap. The light shows a red or green random fare inspection at stations and on-board remain. The indication depending on whether valid fare is indi- result is a "modified" PoP fare collection system. cated. Fare inspectors may be present and can appre- hend people who pass through when a red indication Creation of a LA Metro Transit Court is displayed. · Acquisition of Handheld Verification Devices (LA Sponsored by San Francisco, a California state law that took Metro refers to these devices as Mobile Phone effect in 2007 [and is chaptered in California Penal Code Validators, MPVs) --Three hundred of these units have 640 (25)] authorized LA Metro to adjudicate fare evasion been issued to fare inspectors and uniformed officers and other minor transit violations through administrative in the field. These are lighter weight and smaller than review rather than through the court system. the prior handhelds and are less expensive. An example of one of the handheld devices is shown in Figure 21. However, in contrast to SFMTA, LA Metro has decided The new handheld devices also permit the inspector/ not to decriminalize the process. The LA Metro procedure officer to verify fare payment for TAP users. The units will have two alternatives: can communicate over the 3G data network and are adapting near field communication to interface with · An administrative review available for 45 days --The the TAP card. As a result, the application developed fare violator will be given an opportunity for an admin- on the phone can validate, read, and display TAP card istrative review by an LA Metro Transit Court within content, and can store the last eight transactions on a 45 days of receiving the citation.