Bob Redell

BART Selects New Gate Design to Curb Fare Evasion

It's been in the works for months and on Thursday the Bay Area Rapid Transit board made a final decision on the gates it is buying in hopes of cutting down on fare evaders.

The transit agency ended up going with a design that might already look familiar to thousands of transit riders. The BART board selected a tall swing-style gate, something very similar to what Muni is already using.

Fare evaders have become a common sight for BART commuters.

BART says it's an expensive problem, costing them $25 million a year.

"The idea of do we need to replace fare gates have been slowly building for over a year now," BART spokesperson Alicia Trost said.

After testing pop-up barriers at the Fruitvale station and a double-stack gate at Richmond with inconsistant results, the board decided to replace all gates with a swinging plexiglass option.

"The idea is that they're tall, you can't push through them and you can't jump over them," Trost said.

The other two choices were a retractable barrier or a turnstile.

"It definitely looks like people will have a harder time getting around it," commuter Rown Krampf.

Krampf said the new gate is an improvement, but doubt it will solve the fare evasion problem.

The upgrade is expected to cost $150 million and BART still needs to get funding.

"Staff is going to have to identify money or at least a funding plan (and) return to the board once that's in place," Trost said.

Riders won't be seeing any changes for a while. BART says after the staff finds a way to pay for the gates, they'll have to find a vendor. After that it will be another year and a half to integrate into the system.

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