Reality Check: Metro Searching Commuter Bags

Sheriff’s perform around 16 searches per month at multiple locations

Metro commuters may be in for a dose of airport déjà-vu next time they board a train. LA County Sheriff’s have extended random bag searches from Metrolink stations to local Metro transit lines. Passengers reported searches taking place on the Gold Line platform at Union station.

Metro spokesman Mark Littman confirmed the searches. He said the agency has been concerned with the safety of its passengers in the wake of the London and Madrid rail bombings.

Searches began in March of this year on the Metro transit lines but have been in place since June of last year on Metrolink commuter trains.

Sheriff’s perform around 16 searches per month at multiple locations, according to L.A. County Sheriff’s Captain Pat Jordan. Authorities choose a random location and post signs indicating a search will take place. Passengers are pulled aside based on a preset random selection criteria. The searches are legal and typically take a few minutes he said.

Sheriff’s look for explosives and firearms but also ensure commuters paid for their ticket. The reaction of most passengers has been “very positive,” he said.

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