LOS ANGELES - The LA Metro is playing classical music to deter homeless people from the station.
The classical music is part of a pilot program between Metro and law enforcement.
The music was heard at the Westlake/MacArthur Park Metro station near downtown LA. Metro's goal is to reduce crime and prevent people from sleeping and loitering at the station.
However, some people say adding music and lights do nothing to address the real problem. Metro says the music is just one part of an overall plan to improve safety. They have already added additional security cameras, new lighting, and fencing to restrict entry.
The agency has been faced with an increase in crime and a decrease in ridership. They say the pilot program began at the start of the year and is "intended to prevent issues before they occur."
Metro released the following statement, "Early results show that incidents of graffiti, vandalism, loitering and trash/clean-up incidents have decreased by more than 50%."
Critics have also said that the music is being played louder than it should be. However, Metro told FOX 11 that they lowered the volume and when our crews were at the station, the music was barely audible.
"If you see how it is down here, there are a bunch of drug addicts, crackheads and everything. So I understand why they are doing it cause it disturbs them, cause if you're down here, it's actually horrible if you're here in the nighttime," said one Metro rider.
Similar programs have been done in the Portland transit system as well as outside some 7-Eleven stores in California and Texas.
Recently, the Metro has come under fire for it handling of crime and homelessness.
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Weeks after announcing the deployment of nearly 200 unarmed Metro Ambassadors aboard its trains and buses, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority approved the hiring of 48 new transit security officers to bolster public safety.
The Metro Board of Directors decision to increase its number of transit security officers is part of efforts to advance its public safety plan, which calls for a layered, "human-centered" approach aimed at making the system safer. In addition to the new Metro personnel, Metro is working with the city and county of Los Angeles to add homeless outreach, drug addiction and crisis intervention teams, and is improving its use of security cameras, lighting and more frequent cleaning of stations and vehicles.