BART board wants new, swing-style fare gates | October 4, 2019 | Pleasanton Weekly | PleasantonWeekly.com |

Pleasanton Weekly

News - October 4, 2019

BART board wants new, swing-style fare gates

$150M replacement project aims to curtail fare evasion

The BART Board of Directors voted unanimously last week 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 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.

--Bay City News Service

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