Metro’s Idea to Implement Bike Locker Programs for Thieves
ANTHONY DOLLENTAS Staff Writer
Metro may scrap its bike locker program because of thieves, break-ins and inappropriate usage. Thieves have constantly breaking into LA Metro bike lockers placed at train stations, stealing bicycles and ransacking the personal contents stored inside and prompting the transit agency to consider scrapping the program.
As an alternative, Metro staff is recommending removing and replacing the lockers with larger digital docking rack systems at five stations by July, soon expanding to 10 stations, according to the report, presented to Metro’s Operations, Safety and Customer Experience Committee Thursday. The digital docking system can lock and unlock bicycles at a multi-space rack using a smartphone.
Metro is also considering to create bicycle and scooter parking pens accessible only to TAP-card holding transit riders. Wes Reutimann of Active SGV, an alternative transportation advocacy group based in El Monte, says that in the last year, people have been “losing their bikes,” after locker break-ins, and that the group has shared their concerns with Metro. The use of lockers for long-term storage has attracted thieves, who raid them after midnight and on weekends, the report says.
Several lockers at the Memorial Park Gold Line Station in Old Pasadena have flimsy, plywood backs, some hanging by a few screws making it easy for thieves to break in. Even after adding more security elements, the lockers again were compromised, the report found. By allowing patrons to rent lockers for a year, it promotes the wrong type of use, the report says.
“There are questions about the length of use of those lockers,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor and MTA board member Hilda Solis during the committee meeting. “Some people are keeping them longer and putting other items in there.” Metro, taking a cue from the Bay Area Rapid Transit System, recommends doing away with the bi-monthly rental system and converting to short-time rentals, in which people are charged an hourly.