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Metro locks turnstiles at Wilshire and Normandie

Fare gate at Wilshire/Normandie

Los Angeles Metro officials locked all the turnstiles Wednesday at the Wilshire and Normandie subway station. Riders of the Purple Line who didn’t have a Transit Access Pass, or TAP card, had to get assistance to open the gates there.

Metro’s Jane Matsumoto said officials were conducting a demonstration exercise as part of a transition to a new fare card system. Metro plans to permanently lock the turnstiles once the changeover to the TAP smart cards is complete. The stations are still issuing and accepting paper fare cards for the near future, and staffers are checking those at one of the gates.

“We’ve installed the equipment, ensured that it operates properly, now our next measured step is to discern who has TAP cards as our customer base today, and who still needs to get TAP cards into their hands,” she said.

Matsumoto estimates that half of Metro’s riders have the new cards. Ticket machines will soon offer customers the option to load their TAP cards with a single-ride fare.