So-called “Next Generation Fare Gates” are plexiglass doors and are now installed at Rockridge station, so we’ll see if this latest invention makes a dent in the system’s $25 million-a-year fare evasion problem.
The big news on BART these days is the half-price fares for the month of September, though be aware that indulgence is only available to Clipper Card users. The system is trying to lure riders back, and can afford such short-term promotions thanks to that sweet Biden stimulus money. But BART is still mindful of their notorious fare evasion problem, and have been tinkering with redesigned door solutions.
These gates are NOT working. The design is ridiculous. I repeat, these gates a VERY lame. pic.twitter.com/nH331Qnfwi— Kuan Butts (@buttsmeister) June 12, 2021
As seen above, everyone hated the double-stack gates, which were nicknamed “The Guillotine,” and failed to prevent fare evasion. So we first heard about a year ago that BART was mulling plexiglass doors that would supposedly be unhoppable, and they have arrived. Well, at Rockridge, at least.
While BART ridership remains way down compared to before the pandemic, officials are scrambling to replace lost revenues, and that includes people who are freeloading on the system. https://t.co/fEPxapappC— KPIX 5 (@KPIXtv) September 2, 2021
KPIX reports that “On Wednesday, at the Rockridge station, engineers were finishing up installation of new Plexiglas fare gates.” A 35-page working paper from BART on the “Next Generation Fare Gates” is not clear on which stations will get the upgrade next.
We include the above graphic from that working paper merely because it is hilarious, detailing all the ways that people hop, crawl, or limbo through the gates. But surely no one will figure out how to evade fare on these futuristic new gates, right?
Well actually, Page 9 of BART’s own working paper details exactly how people will evade fare on these. But KPIX notes that “The engineers say the latest design may require a barrier across the top to keep people from climbing over.”
The price tag on putting these across the BART system is an estimated $90 million, and we’d wager there will be a cost overrun or two. But if BART is currently losing $25 million a year to fare evasion, well, they pay for themselves in only four or five years!
Image: @SFBart via Twitter