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Gate Latching

If you’re a full-time Metro employee, your badge functions as a TAP card, allowing you to ride the Metro system. But even though you don’t have to pay, you are REQUIRED to TAP your card when boarding any Metro bus or train. Your fare is not valid unless you do; and if you haven’t tapped, you could be cited by a transit security officer for fare evasion.

Metro will begin latching turnstiles in Red and Purple Line Stations on June 19, 2013. When they’re latched, the turnstiles won’t open unless you tap your employee badge on the turnstile when you enter. You also are required to tap when changing from one line to another (i.e. Red Line to Blue Line) or when entering a station that does not have turnstiles, so look for the station validators to do so.  Again, if you don’t tap, you could be cited by a transit security officer.

In stations with turnstiles:

Before entering, tap the target on the right side of the turnstile in order to pass through.

When no turnstiles are present:

Look for the station validator as you approach the platform and tap before boarding; your fare is not valid unless you do.

Don’t Forget to TAP! Your badge is good for unlimited rides, but you must remember to tap on entry and at all transfer points.

What happens when turnstiles are latched?

When turnstiles are latched, it means you will no longer be able to pass through without tapping your employee badge. Expect latching to begin on June 19 at Union Station and to broaden each week to eventually include all stations with turnstiles.

Why do you say latched instead of locked when referring to the activated turnstiles?

Latched suggests that turnstiles are activated and access is still available with a valid pass. When you refer to turnstiles as being locked, it can give the incorrect impression that turnstiles are closed and no access is available.

How will I be affected?

There is nothing extra that you need to do. Simply make sure you tap your badge to the right upon entering. Please be patient with patrons around you who are learning the TAP system, it may take a little longer to access the station boarding platform.

What happens if I don’t tap on a validator to enter?

If you do not tap your badge before entering, the validator cannot read that you have valid fare to ride. If Metro transit enforcement officers ask you to show proof of valid fare, their reader will show that you did not tap. This can lead to a fine of up to $250. All Metro employees are responsible for tapping, and this fine and will not be excused, even if your badge is current.

What if I forget my badge when riding Metro?

If you forget your badge, you must purchase a fare in order to board. As an employee you are a role model for others that ride Metro.

What if I have a valid pass on my TAP card and it still doesn’t work? Who will help me?

For help at gates/turnstiles, please look for the “gate help” intercoms placed in every station. These intercoms are staffed by people who can provide remote access to gates in the event of a valid badge that has problems. The gate help phones also provide ADA access to gates.

How are our customers being informed about latching?

There will be brochures, posters and train announcements onboard the system. If you see a patron that is confused, please be a good TAP representative and help whenever possible.

How will the disabled community access the turnstiles?

Every station has special ADA-approved accessible gates for customers with disabilities. If there is a problem with this entrance, there is a special accesible "gate help" intercom  to provide real-time assistance to patrons with special needs.

How will I get through if I am carrying bulky items?

Please use the ADA gate when carrying bulky items. The process is the same; simply tap your badge on the right and the access gates will open for you to enter.

How will I enter if I have children present with me?

Two children under the age of 5 can ride Metro free of charge when accompanied by an adult with a Metro badge. Please use the ADA gate to enter when accompanied by other family members. Children above the age of 5 must tap a valid Employee Dependent Badge to ride.