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Letters to the Editor: Cutting police on Metro is exactly what the system doesn’t need

Two police officers stand near an escalator in a subway station
LAPD officers patrol the Hollywood/Highland Metro Red Line station on June 25.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I wonder if the people trying to reduce the role of police on Metro trains and buses actually use public transportation. I have continued to do so during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has been a very disconcerting experience.

The need to protect bus drivers means that riders are no longer made to pay the fare. In fact, for the first time since March, I actually saw uniformed officers downtown at Union Station. There were so many of them on a Red Line platform that I actually wondered if something dangerous had just been averted.

Ridership has diminished noticeably, so social distancing hasn’t been a problem. Still, separating myself from travelers who are sleeping, eating or just screaming has been difficult. Am I risking COVID-19 infection by continuing to use the system?

Free bus fare doesn’t alleviate the problem or make me feel I’m getting “something for nothing.” As the saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

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Ruth Kramer Ziony, Los Feliz

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To the editor: For years Metro has been something I love in theory but hate to actually use. Why is the system designed to allow you to ride without needing to have a valid ticket to leave a station? Ridership would increase along with safety if this were fixed.

As far as policing goes, my experience is that most officers typically stand in small groups on train platforms, where I am sure nice conversations take place but actual policing is not happening.

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To me, the necessary fix is obvious: Mimic the systems in London and Paris by doing more to ensure that only people with valid tickets are allowed onto the platforms. Then, the cops could get off the platforms and into the actual trains.

Randy Howard, San Dimas


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