OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- BART upgraded its fare gates for the first time in 20 years, hoping to prevent fare evasion.
The West Oakland Bart station looked a little different for riders, who got to experience a prototype of 5 new fare gates.
BART Spokesperson Anna Duckworth explains what people will experience from now on.
"These are totally different than what BART rides are used to. We're used to waist high flaps that open and close. These are 7-foot-tall gates. We're testing out 2 materials just to see what's going to stand up better to graffiti, vandalism and wear and tear. The doors are a saloon style open and close. It's going to be really hard for someone to climb over or under these gates," Duckworth says.
For BART fare evasion has been an ongoing issue and one that ABC7 has covered in the past.
These gates aim to address people who choose to get around paying.
"People just can't enter the system without paying so what we want to do is deter fare evasion and that's going to help our revenue, which does get impacted by people who don't pay into the system," Duckworth says.
BART has made other recent changes, which include phasing out paper tickets for Clipper Cards and increasing fares by 5 and a half percent come January 1st.
Daily ridership is still down about half this year compared to pre-pandemic numbers.
But today Duckworth says BART took a step forward in their goal for a better and safer user experience.
"This morning the initial feedback was positive. People were happy to see we're doing something. People let us know West Oakland is a place where fare evasion is happening. So to not see it happening this morning because of these new gates, initially, shows it's working," she says.
BART will announce the next eight stations to get the new fare gates at the January 11, 2024, board meeting.
In all, 700 new fare gates will be installed systemwide by the end of 2025.
The entire project is costing $90 million.
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