By Paul Gonzales, February 14, 2014
Fare evasion has fallen sharply on the Orange Line since December and
beefed up enforcement is credited with a 45 percent increase in the
number of riders who pay fares and tap their TAP cards at validators
before boarding the bus, according to Metro officials.
Metro conducted three fare enforcement audits on the Orange Line in December and February.
The first — on December 3 at the North Hollywood, Sherman Way and
Van Nuys stations — found that 22 percent of Orange Line riders evaded
fares by not having a valid TAP card or insufficient cash balance on the
card. In addition, nine percent of passengers with an activated TAP
card and a valid pass did not tap before entering, which is considered
misuse of TAP and not fare evasion. As a result, 445 citations were
issued that day.
A second audit was held on Dec. 17 at the North Hollywood, Canoga and
Reseda stations. On that day, 16 percent of riders evaded fares and six
percent of riders misused their TAP cards and 421 citations written.
A third audit was held February 11 at the North Hollywood, Van Nuys
and Canoga stations. On that day, there was a seven percent rate of fare
evasion and five percent misuse rate, resulting in 310 citations being
The audits found that some passengers are still unclear about where
and when to tap their fare cards. As a result, Metro is developing new
posters and signs along with audio and electronic announcements
explaining how to use TAP cards. A 30-second, instructional public
service announcement about TAP cards is also being made and will be
played on Transit TV on Metro buses.
There are about 26,000 boardings on the Orange Line on an average
weekday. The Orange Line runs for 18 miles between North Hollywood,
Warner Center and the Chatsworth Metrolink station.