Los Angeles’ subway will become the first mass transit system in the U.S. to install body scanners that screen passengers for weapons and explosives, officials said Tuesday.
The deployment of the portable scanners, which project waves to do full-body screenings of passengers walking through a station without slowing them down, will happen in the coming months.
The machines scan for metallic and non-metallic objects on a person’s body, can detect suspicious items from 30 feet (9 meters) away and have the capability of scanning more than 2,000 passengers per hour.
In addition to the scanners, the agency is also planning to purchase other body scanners — which resemble white television cameras on tripods — that have the ability to move around and hone in on specific people and angles.
Signs will be posted at stations warning passengers they are subject to body scanner screening. The screening process is voluntary, but customers who choose not to be screened won’t be able to ride on the subway.