SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Fare evasion on BART has gotten so out of hand that the transportation agency is now looking into replacing those orange fare gates. According to BART, this kind of crime costs them $25 million in lost revenue.
Fare evaders were not deterred by ABC7 News cameras. We caught them jumping over the fare gates, pushing through them, even getting stuck trying to evade the fare.
BART says it's a costly problem that seems to be getting worse.
"Twenty-five million dollars... at least it's sending the wrong message to riders when one person hops over and the other one doesn't, that we need to fast track the replacement of these gates even though they still work," said Alicia Trost, BART spokesperson.
BART is not allowed to modify the existing orange fare gates because the contractor owns the software. The only solution would be to replace the entire system and that could cost between $150 million and $200 million.
BART will now conduct a study to determine what it would take to replace these gates. They will look at what other cities, like New York, are doing.
"We really want to know what's out there, how much does it cost, what are the benefits, what does it look like, what do our riders feel about it," revealed Trost.
That study will be presented to the board for review sometime in the Spring of 2019.
BART also acknowledges there is a correlation between this kind of behavior and crimes committed at different stations.
Muni also has its share of fare evaders, but in recent years, it has seen a drop from 9.5 percent in 2009 to 7.9 in 2014 -- those are the most recent numbers.
Spokesperson Paul Rose told us those numbers went down after Muni installed fare gates that are much harder to jump over.
"We have new fare gates that went up in about 2010-2011," said Rose.
BART has put up deterrents such as higher gates, cameras with monitors and recently began using fare inspectors asking commuters for proof of payment. But it seems none of it matters because the evaders seem not to care anymore.
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