BART board adopts swing-style fare gates as preferred design

$150M replacement project aims to curtail fare evasion

The BART Board of Directors voted unanimously on Thursday to adopt swing-style barrier gates as the transit system's preferred design for new fare gates to replace their traditional wedge-shaped orange gates.

The Plexiglas gates with panels that swing open like a pair of French doors when a person tags in or out are similar to the fare gates by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency but BART managers say they are taller and sturdier, making it hard to jump over the panels or push them open.

A major reason BART wants to install new fare gates is that currently 5% to 6% of its riders evade paying fares, costing the transit system $25 million to $30 million a year.

BART Board President Bevan Dufty said, "Unchecked fare evasion is an Achilles heel for us because we depend on fares," as the transit system gets 67% of its revenues from fares, unlike other agencies that depend more on subsidies than fares.

The only catch with the plan to use swing-style gates is that BART hasn't yet identified where it will get the estimated $150 million needed to build and install them.

BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said BART does have the money to install some swing-style gates within about six months at the Richmond station, which currently is experimenting with stacked gates, a system in which there's a second level of wedge gates to make it harder for people to jump over the barriers.

A report by BART staff said sensor data indicates that fare evasion at the Richmond station decreased by 38% from the installation of the stacked gates on June 15 through Sept. 9.

The report says the Richmond station was selected as the location for the pilot program for the stacked configuration because it has a lower ridership than most stations and fare evasion there is particularly high.

BART also experimented with pop-up barriers, which critics described as inverted guillotines, at the Fruitvale station in Oakland but the transit system recently scrapped those gates because they were ineffective, easily damaged and hard to maintain.

BART also considered floor-to-ceiling gates, which critics described as an "iron maiden" style, similar to the gates used in the New York City subway system.

But many BART directors said it would be difficult for people who use wheelchairs to get through the floor-to-ceiling gates.

"We have to take the iron maiden gates off the table," BART Director Robert Raburn said at Thursday's meeting.

— Bay City News Service

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1 person likes this
Posted by Grumpy
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Sep 27, 2019 at 3:20 pm

Grumpy is a registered user.

Probably a good idea.

The only problem is with the fare loss analysis. Those evaders are unlikely to pay the fares when locked out by new gates, and so will instead only reduce ridership. Not a bad thing, but it means that the gates will never pay for themselves.

1 person likes this
Posted by James Michael
a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 27, 2019 at 7:00 pm

James Michael is a registered user.

"The only catch with the plan to use swing-style gates is that BART hans't yet identified where it will get the $150 million needed to build and install them."

Well that shouldn't be a problem since you are saving money on your new headquarters. And if that doesn't meet your needs then just let me know where I can donate.

4 people like this
Posted by Jake Waters
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 29, 2019 at 9:23 am

Jake Waters is a registered user.

Oh where, oh where do you even start to address BART and the endless money pit that swallows our tax dollars year in and year out?

Going to New York quite frequently, the Iron Maiden construction works the best and according to their statistics has reduced the ‘fare jumping’ by 85%. BART does everything half-baked (I would have preferred to use the better expression), and they are living up to their standards. Furthermore, NY doesn’t have a problem with handling the wheelchair access, and let’s be honest, that isn’t a great problem here. Other than planting a BART Cop at the gates, which will never happen because they are too busy enforcing jurisdictions outside of the stations, this design will be a failure. The BART board, as most liberals, would rather ‘feel better’ than ‘do better.’

The famous line used by BART over and over and over again when they want more money, change a procedure or process, or construct something useless is: “We want to make it safe for our riders.” You want to make it safe- than have the cops in the stations, on the platforms, and riding the trains once in a while instead of riding around the outer perimeters of the BART property as if they are working for that city the train runs through. Oh I forgot, BART operates under the banner of ‘Sanctuary State.’ My bad, of course that is more important.

1 person likes this
Posted by Mob attacks on BART trains
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2019 at 11:45 am

Given the mob attacks by swarms of thugs on the Dublin/Pleasanton line, I am hoping that the new design will prevent these thugs from hoping the gate in order to beat and rob people like occurred recently Web Link

BTW-What is the status of the lawsuit from the Pleasanton/Dublin residents who sued BART after this incident?

1 person likes this
Posted by Flightops
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 9, 2019 at 8:51 am

Flightops is a registered user.

The good news is that BART found plenty of money to buy a office building and trick it out with plenty of goodies to make a new home for themselves. I’m betting it will be a clean, safe and comfortable environment that will be fully functional and with plenty of parking for their employees- All the things that BART riders will never see!!

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