OAKLAND (KCBS) – Bay Area Rapid Transit is looking to spend nearly $3 million to crack down on fare evaders.
BART gets about 75 percent of its operating budget from the fare gates, which means every time someone skips out, that’s money that could add up to a ticket increase later.
Under the proposal, the transit agency may be spending almost $2 million “hardening” Downtown San Francisco stations. Some walls would be raised to five feet, to prevent people from hopping over. Also, swinging gates would be locked, so they can only be released by a station agent in an emergency.
BART may also hire ticket inspectors like those on Muni, who will randomly check riders for valid tickets and Clipper cards.
“Many of the people who are fare evading are often breaking the law in the other ways too. If we are able to find a way to keep them off the system, that’s a bonus,” BART spokesperson Jim Allison told KCBS. “But the big thing that we’re looking to do is to make sure that the people who are honest and paying tickets are not being cheated by other people who are gaming the system.”
Fines for fare evasion go as high as $250.
The plan goes before a BART committee Tuesday.