Homeless No Longer Welcome at L.A.’s Union Station

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Alicia Mendivil said she was scared when a guard asked to see her ticket before she sat down in one of Union Station’s art deco armchairs.

Union Station

Sheriff’s deputies ask a man to leave the section designated for ticketed passengers only in Union Station. (Credit: Los Angeles Times)

The holiday traveler from Yuma, Ariz., didn’t feel much better when she learned the reason: a crackdown on homeless people who officials said had turned the cavernous downtown transportation hub into a shelter.

“You can tell a homeless person from somebody who’s not, can’t you?” said Mendivil, a Christmas wreath brooch winking from her lapel.

She had encountered a pilot program launched Dec. 9 by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority putting seats in the historic structure off-limits to all but ticketed Amtrak and Metrolink passengers.

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