Time for Cage’s 4’33”? A station of the Los Angeles Metro, where classical music is being played to discourage lingering.

“ ‘We are piping in classical music, you probably heard that, so we’re still evaluating that,’ said Conan Cheung, chief operating officer of Los Angeles’s Metro, to a crowd of tech and mobility consultants at an ‘innovation forum’ held earlier this month at Union Station,” writes Alissa Walker in last Thursday’s (3/23) Curbed (NY). “ ‘It’s actually working pretty well,’ he added with a chuckle, and the crowd laughed with him. The forum was ostensibly about increasing ridership on the city’s trains and buses, where numbers have plateaued at around 75 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels. But Cheung wasn’t talking about attracting commuters. The relentless rain and near-freezing temperatures over the last two months have driven people to seek shelter in the system’s underground stations, and the classical music was an effort to drive them back out... The music … is the audio version of hostile architecture, where bumpy benches and spiky surfaces are employed to keep those who have nowhere else to go out of sight. The crisis Metro is facing is real Just in the first months of 2023, 21 people have died, mostly from overdoses, on the system... Some of Metro’s leadership have condemned the hostile audio approach.