RICHMOND (KPIX 5) — BART is sending a message to crack down on fare evaders, but riders have their concerns about a new modification to the fare gates.
BART is testing the double stacked fare gates at the Richmond station that are supposed to stop gate jumpers, but some are still getting through.
Patrick Moody, a rider, said, “Few days ago, I saw people jump over it, under it, like they are in the Olympics.”
BART acknowledges that the double stacked fare gates have their flaws.
“People have still gotten through. They’ve gotten creative, people will crawl under, they will crawl through the middle but what we are really trying do is send a message to the riders that it’s not acceptable to cheat your way into the system,” said Anna Duckworth, a BART spokesperson.
BART estimates fare evaders cost the transit company roughly $25 million annually. Fare paying riders feel it’s one of the biggest problems, saying gate jumpers create a culture of lawlessness on trains and at the stations. But the double stacked gates have some riders worried about their safety.
“There’s a sense of urgency there now that wasn’t there before. Where as now if you’re too slow, it’s going to hit you in the face,” said Nate Dunn, another rider.
Moody added,”It kind of hits me in the shoulders all the time. Cause I got wide shoulders. Two days ago, it hit me in the shoulder and I still have a ding in my shoulder.”
BART says it hasn’t received any reports of injuries. The double stacked fare gates are just one of many options the transit agency is testing to see which has the biggest impact on fare evaders. Eventually, the goal is to install the best modification on all 600 gates. Riders have their doubts about the double stacked gates being the right one.
BART says it has cameras pointed at the fare gates and it’s continually monitoring riders’ safety. BART says the Fruitvale station will get a different modification this week.