Could other transit agencies have the answer to BART fare evaders?

ByKristen Sze and Ken Miguel via KGO logo
Saturday, February 16, 2019
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Stealing a ride on BART costs the agency 25-million dollars a year in lost fares. Could other big transit systems have a solution to our fare evasion problem?

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Stealing a ride on BART costs the agency 25-million dollars a year in lost fares. As part of our ongoing commitment to Build a Better Bay Area, ABC7 News has been looking at the many issues that plague BART.

We've been hearing from a lot of you about what you think are BART's biggest problems. Many people have been asking us why BART doesn't adopt turnstiles like those in New York or Washington D.C. Well as it turns out, those barriers aren't very effective either at preventing gate dodgers either.

RELATED: BART tests modified entry gates to stop fare cheats

You might think New York's gates and turnstiles look impenetrable but you'd be wrong.

Fare evaders in New York City finding all kinds of ways to avoid paying for the subway. Passengers say they see it all time.

New York transit authorities estimate that 4-percent of riders on the subway are not paying to ride.

That's about the same as on BART, authorities here say 4 to 5-percent of riders are skipping fares. BART says those evaders cost the agency as much as $25-million in lost fares.

In Washington, D.C., a system built very similarly to BART, but with twice as many riders, the rate is much higher. Nearly 3 times higher, 11.4-percent, that works out to be more than 9 million stolen rides a year.

So what is BART doing to solve the problem? The agency is experimenting with new gates like this one that are harder to slip through whether they will help keep people from jumping over them is another question.