SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — BART announced Thursday it would be moving forward with plans to purchase and install new fare gates systemwide. Upgrading the existing fare gates for more secure models are part of the transit system’s broader effort to win back ridership in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The new fare gates will “bring a new look and improved experience, offering state-of-the-art technology that will boost safety by reducing fare evasion,” BART said in an announcement on its website. The new gates will also enhance access for people in wheelchairs and people who ride BART with bikes and strollers.

At a meeting Thursday, the BART Board of Directors staff recommended that the Board move forward with the first purchase of the $90 million Next Generation Fare Gate project, BART announced. Staff also recommended awarding up to $47 million to STraffic America to implement the project.

An installation timeline will be developed by BART staff and STraffic that will see the new fare gate stress tested at a yet-to-be-determined station later this year. The project calls for the new fare gates to be installed at all stations by 2026.

The design for the new fare gate has yet to be finalized, but the gates will have clear swing barriers that will be difficult to be pushed through, jumped over, or maneuvered under, according to BART.

“New fare gates will transform the rider experience and will deliver immediate improvements to safety and reliability,” said BART Board President Janice Li. “BART researched world-wide best practices in fare gate designs to help guide this pivotal purchase. I want to thank the local, state, and federal funding sources who have stepped up to support this impactful project. I am committed to seeing this project fully funded and fully implemented without delay.”

To date, BART has raised $74 million of the $90 million required to fund the project.