METRO To Increase Security And Safety At METRORail Platforms

November 17, 2005

The METRO Board of Directors voted today to designate METRORail platforms "paid fare zones," restricting the areas between ticket vending machines to passengers with paid fare media.

The action is designed to facilitate fare inspections by METRO police to increase security and improve crowd management. It will also allow METRO police officers to check for paid fares while passengers are waiting for their train, rather than delaying them after they get off and are heading to their destinations.

"Until now, officers have been able to check fares only on the trains or as passengers get off after already using the service. Now they can do it before passengers board," said METRO Vice President and Chief of Police Thomas C. Lambert.

"It also helps our security efforts. For example, if we see someone suspicious on a platform, we now have probable cause to question what he's doing there." Lambert said signs will be posted on all platforms clearly designating the area restricted to paying customers. He said the restrictions go into effect immediately, although there will be a grace period during which warnings will be issued before ticketing begins.