BART cracking down on fare evaders with new gates

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RICHMOND (KRON) — BART says it’s losing millions of dollars each year because of fare evaders. 

Now the agency is trying to crack down on gate jumpers with modified gates.

Regardless, riders trying to skip out on paying BART fares are still finding ways to slip through new gates at the Fruitvale and Richmond stations.

“With Richmond and Fruitvale we picked these stations because first of all they have the smallest array of fair gates so fewer to modify and also because front line workers identified these stations as especially problematic for fare evaders,” said a spokesperson for BART.

While Fruitvale has added pop up barriers, Richmond’s modification are stacked gates.

“We have a fair gate stacked on top of a fair gate to increase height of fair gates at the Richmond station with the same idea that it’s going to stop people, deter them from cheating their way into the system,” they said.

But riders say they haven’t been too effective, even with BART police watching.

“I’ve seen people wiggle through, I’ve seen people baseball slide, I’ve even seen slide up and over. It’s crazy,” said rider Nolan Pirtle. 

Pirtle has seen a bunch of new moves, though he thinks they’re serving their purpose.

“They stop some people but you can’t stop the brazen people like if they build this up to the roof someone will jump that metal gate, like they’ll figure a way in,” he said.

Others disagree, saying the new gates are ineffective. 

Riders like Charles Johnson say BART needs to work on a new concept all together.

“Maybe if they make that one solid piece like ‘boom boom,’ he said.

BART says the modified gates at Fruitvale and Richmond are just prototypes. The agency is encouraging people to share their ideas.

BART is collecting research now on how well the gates work and will bring the results to the board in the fall.

From there, they’ll decide whether to keep the new gate ideas or go back to the drawing board.

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