SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- BART estimates fare cheaters cost the transit system as much as $25 million a year. Many offenders just push open the fare gates and walk in without paying.
BART is looking at numerous modifications to stop cheaters. One of the most promising options is to increase air pressure so the gates are much harder to open unless you pay to make them open automatically.
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Modified gates with higher pressure are now being tested at several Bay Area stations.
An ABC7 News producer tried one out. Pulling as hard as he could, he could not open the gate wide enough to go through.
BART is also examining other fare gate changes, including making gates higher so they are harder to jump over.
BART estimates it would cost $15 to $20 million to modify gates throughout the entire system. That compares with an estimated $250-million to completely replace all the gates with brand new more robust equipment.
The BART Board of Directors is expected to consider the gate hardening options this spring.
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