BART Getting Busy with New, Secure Fare Gate Installation

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BART has begun rolling out prototypes of its new, more secure fare gates as part of its Safe and Clean Plan to address concerns about crime, safety and cleanliness issues that many riders have cited for not using the system. For almost two years, the Bay Area Council, which was instrumental in the creation of BART, has been advocating loudly for intense focus by BART on crime, safety and cleanliness issues and we applaud BART for taking this action to stymie fare evaders.

The new fare gates will not only help make trains safer and reduce unwanted behavior they will also generate significant revenue, estimated to be at least $25 million annually, for BART as it faces continuing fiscal challenges due to low ridership. Installation of 700 new fare gates across the entire system started at the West Oakland Station in December and the BART Board of Directors last week announced expansion to eight other locations over the coming weeks and months. Installation is expected to continue through the end of 2025.

While BART is working to make fare evasion harder, it’s also working to make riding BART less expensive for lower-income riders. BART recently announced that as part of its participation in the Clipper START program it is increasing fare discounts from 20% to 50% for lower-income riders. Clipper START is a pilot program launched by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to provide single-ride discounts to eligible riders. Clipper START offers the discount for Bay Area residents ages 19 to 64 whose incomes are less than 200% of the federal poverty level. Clipper START is accepted by more than 20 regional transit operators. Those who qualify can apply for the program here. To engage in the Council’s transit safety policy work, please contact Policy Director Laura Hill.

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