The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board approved today a fare evasion prevention pilot project at four Blue Line stations in downtown Long Beach and a study of potential improvements to the Wardlow Station, which was recently ranked as one of the worst in the county, according to the release.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles County Fourth District Supervisor Don Knabe, who sit on the board, introduced the measures, which are also supported by State Senator Ricardo Lara. Eighth District Councilmember Al Austin, Chair of the State Legislation Committee, lobbied in Sacramento for the investments, while Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal and First District Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez also advocated for the measures, according to a release.
“I want to thank Supervisor Knabe, Mayor Garcetti, and Senator Lara for their strong advocacy and support,” said Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement. According to an announcement issued by his office, he lobbied and advocated for the security measures. “These projects will greatly enhance the Blue Line in Long Beach and improve the experience for commuters and visitors. The fare evasion stations have the potential to dramatically enhance passenger safety."
Pedestrian safety gates, additional personnel and fare gate installation are included in the new measures to answer safety and security issues cited by riders and potential riders, in an effort to make the Blue Line safer and more enjoyable for residents, commuters and visitors.
Major improvements to the Wardlow Station, now prioritized for new funding, will include grade crossing gates, pedestrian safety gates and inclusion in MTA’s “Transit-Oriented Communities” project, and State of Good Repair, Safety Improvements and Aging Infrastructure program, according to the separate announcement.
“The Blue Line is a crucial part of our transportation infrastructure, but has not lived up to its potential due to safety and security issues,” stated Garcia. “Today’s action by the MTA promises to go a long way in addressing these issues and making the Blue Line a better option for many residents and visitors.”
An initial report to the board on the new measures is expected in August.