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AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

BART revolutionizes commuting experience with next-generation fare gates

BARTs+inception+in+1972+made+it+the+first+fully+automated+rapid+transit+system+in+the+United+States%2C+revolutionizing+the+landscape+of+public+transportation.
Zenil Koovejee
BART’s inception in 1972 made it the first fully automated rapid transit system in the United States, revolutionizing the landscape of public transportation.

In the rhythmic chaos of daily commuters pirouetting through aging BART fare gates, tales of evasion, payment disparities, and uncertainty come to fruition on a daily basis. 

Bay Area residents’ response

But, on Dec. 28, 2023, a new chapter dawned at West Oakland Station. State-of-the-art gates replaced the old, ushering in a new era that redefines the face of public transportation in the Bay Area. 

“I have seen images of the new BART gates online and it’s heartening to witness proactive steps being taken for the well-being of all commuters,” said daily commuter Kirtida Nannoo. 

The new fare gates enhance safety and rider experience at BART. It is a key component of the $90 million Next Generation Fare Gate project. This systemwide effort modernizes BART stations and elevates public transit on a regional scale.

“I am thankful that our tax dollars are being spent in modernizing a crucial aspect of our community that so many people rely on. While I am saddened by the need for these new gates, I can understand the reasons behind this initiative,” said BART rider Vaishali Reeder. 

Solving the jumping crisis

At the forefront of the project is the introduction of clear swing barriers, a departure from the traditional fare gates. These barriers stand at a minimum height of 72 inches and provide a formidable obstacle against fare evasion, ensuring security.

“I have seen people jump over the fare gates countless times. It is unfair to those who pay their fair share. Everybody must be held accountable and these new gates allow for that to happen,” said BART rider Gyan Bhambhani.   

In addition to the enhanced security features, the new fare gates incorporate advanced 3D sensors that detect the presence of wheelchairs, bikes, strollers, or luggage. These features facilitate seamless transit for riders with distinct mobility needs, but also expedite the efficient movement of substantial crowds.

“Inclusivity and convenience is important. I am glad considerations of all BART riders were made aware of throughout the development of these new fare gates,” said Nannoo

The future of the new fare gates

The testing phase at the West Oakland Station involves assessing a plethora of materials (namely varying types of polycarbonate). BART will analyze these to choose the most effective gate for deterring fare evasion and serving the Bay Area community.

“I am keen to see the arrival of these fare gates here in Pleasanton and Dublin. I hope that BART does not delay or prolong this project longer than necessary. The construction process should not inconvenience riders,” said Bhambhani

At present, BART aims to have all established stations equipped with the new fare gates by the end of 2025. Furthermore, the next stations to receive such upgrades include Civic Center, Montgomery, Powell, 24th St, SFO, Fruitvale, Richmond, and Antioch.

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