BART's directors voted Thursday to move forward with a swing-style gate design that is not unlike the fare gates that Muni installed systemwide a decade ago.
Forgoing the much less attractive, floor-to-ceiling turnstile gates like they have in the New York City subway system, the BART board opted for modern gates with two panels that swing open and are too tall to be jumped over. As KRON 4 reports, the fare-gate replacement project is expected to cost $150 million, and BART claims that it loses $25 million in annual revenue to fare evasion.
This style of fare gate is popular with transit systems across the country, according to agency spokesperson Alicia Trost, and she tells the Chronicle that part of the decision in choosing these gates is that it will be easy to find bidders for the project.
The main downside of these gates is that they won't stop "tailgaters," i.e. fare evaders who piggyback behind a person, getting two through the gate on a single fare.
BART says that the version of the swinging panels it will be installing will be taller and sturdier than the plastic panels used at Muni gates.
As BART director Debora Allen tells ABC 7, when it comes to funding for the project, "We have 'Measure RR' money, [and] we have county transportation funding." Allen had previously said it was ridiculous that BART was building brand new stations and installing "Pong-era" fare gates in them.
Thursday decision comes after months of testing of alternate designs based on the existing 1970s fare gates, including some double-stacked versions that did nothing to curb fare evasion at Richmond Station.
In other news, BART was featured on Jeopardy! last night.