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LA subway installs first turnstiles

LOS ANGELES — There is a startling new sight at the subway station at Hollywood and Vine these days, set amid the handsome trappings of vintage film projectors and movie paraphernalia: five subway turnstiles.

Their appearance amounts to an acknowledgment of the failure of the rider honor system that Los Angeles embraced when it began constructing its subway system nearly 20 years ago.

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Los Angeles transit officials say that millions of dollars in annual revenues have been lost because of riders at gateless subway entrances who calculated, reasonably enough, that they could ride the subway free with minimal danger of detection, no matter the occasional deputy sheriff demanding to see a fare card and a $250 fine for violators.

‘‘A lot of people — if not the majority of people — are not paying their fare,’’ said Zev Yaroslavsky, a county supervisor and a member of the board of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. ‘‘There is no reason for them to pay. The odds of them getting a ticket are slim to none.’’

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