Los Angeles’s Metro is using loud classical music to deter people from seeking shelter during recent harsh weather. Metro COO Conan Cheung believes this will make the “system more enjoyable and comfortable” for transit users.
- Ridership has plateaued at 75% of pre-pandemic levels, with safety concerns persisting.
- In 2023, 21 people died in the system, mainly from overdoses.
Not everyone agrees
Critics argue for “care-centered” solutions rather than hostile approaches. County Supervisor and Metro board member Hilda Solis supports exploring alternative strategies.
Last year, advocates demonstrated potential care-centred initiatives at a community event. This included social workers, platform attendants, and additional amenities.
Where things stand: Using classical music as a deterrent is not a new phenomenon. Several cities worldwide have employed this tactic in various settings. In the UK, the London Underground used classical music to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour at certain stations. Similarly, in the US, some convenience stores and fast-food chains have played classical music to discourage loitering and late-night gatherings.
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