Today’s Headlines

  • A Turnstile to Fight Cheaters (SFChron)
  • BART and the Homeless (SFChron)
  • More on Closed Transbay Center (Curbed, Hoodline)
  • San Francisco Still Favors Cars (SFChron)
  • Scooter Companies Fall Short on Promises (SFExaminer)
  • ‘Complete Streets’ Spreading in California (MercNews)
  • Land Use as Global Issue (Curbed)
  • Bicycle and Pedestrian Deaths Match Murders in San Jose (MercNews)
  • Housing Approved over Berkeley Walgreens (Berkeleyside)
  • Chinatown Alleyways (Curbed)
  • What is Salesforce Tower Worth? (SFChon)

Get state headlines at Streetsblog CA, national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Flatlander

    Maybe I’m just grumpy, but it’s much more important to me to have a fare gate that actually opens and closes reliably, thousands of times per day, 365 days a year, than it is to have one that thwarts cheaters. So irritating when they go offline, or stop accepting Clipper, or whatnot.

  • Jeffrey Baker

    It seems really wrong to spend $250m on turnstiles. That money could do much better.

  • Joe Brant

    If anything, they should take out the faregates and go to a Proof-of-Payment policy with unarmed fare inspectors. Much more cost efficient. But people like bellyaching about the occasional fare evader instead of looking at how much it costs to enforce those rules vs how much revenue is brought in.

  • p_chazz

    BART does have fare inspectors:

    A lot of good they do. I’ve never seen one and I commute on BART daily.

    People get resentful when they see others deliberately flouting rules. BART is not cheap. BART/Muni passes are $94/month that’s more than a citation. Think of the savings from jumping fare gates.

  • crazyvag

    There’s actually a cooler implementation of fare gates that is more reliable. You can make the gate slightly higher and longer. The moving piece however remains open. If you tag correctly, you get a green light and date remains open.

    If you present an invalid ticket or don’t present a ticket, the gate quickly closes to prevent fare evasion.

    Since 99% of tickets are valid, you reduce the wear and stress on motors by 99% – and hopefully increase reliability .

  • jonobate

    Fare inspectors were only recently introduced, and there isn’t many of them because fare gates are still the primary method of fare enforcement.

    Remove the fare gates at all stations, and put the money that would have been spent on new fare gates into fare inspectors. For $250mm you could fund 250 fare inspectors for 10 years, assuming $100k salary including benefits and admin. There are around 140 hours of revenue service per week; assuming the inspectors work a 40 hour week, that means you could have around 70 inspectors working at any given time. That’s more than one per train, even during rush hour. You could literally add a dedicated ticket checker to every train, as Caltrain does, for 10 years, for less money than is proposed to be spent on these faregates.

    As a bonus, removing the faregates from all stations means you no longer need to staff every station at all times. You’ll still want to have staff at the busier stations, to help with ticket sales and provide security, but suburban stations could be unstaffed at the weekends to reduce operating costs.

  • jonobate

    I remember using those faregates in St Petersburg, and I picked up some bruises by having them slam shut on me because they were slow to register that I had tagged a valid ticket. Much like how you often have to wait half a second for the Muni Metro fare gates to open, but more painful. Maybe they’ve gotten better since then.

  • mx

    BART’s budget for FY2019 estimates $485M in rail passenger revenue, a 5% decrease from last year. It does seem wild that they want to spend half of a year’s fares on new gates (yes, I know the useful life of the gates should be many years) or that gates cost $417,000 each. Just searching around, cities like Vancouver and Los Angeles seem to have done fare gate projects for a whole lot less money. TransLink did 400 gates for $100 million Canadian in 2011, and they were integrating a new fare card system at the time.

  • p_chazz

    Fare inspectors were introduced in Jan 2018. One year ago. Not what I would call recent. I think going to fare inspectors it would only exacerbate the problem.

    Comparing the cost of fare gates and inspectors is apples and oranges. New fare gates are a capital improvement, which means they can be funded with bond money that is earmarked for capital projects. Fare inspectors are an operating expense that must be funded out of operating revenues.

  • Wow. Half a million for a single fare gate? Yes, something does seem wrong, but aren’t the station canopies coming in around $5M each as well?
    It’s the Bay Area and we all know how well a gateless honor system would work. A big chunk of that $250M would be then spent on additional security in stations and on trains. Not POP clowns. Real security.

  • I see so many folks simply bypass the fare gate at the Ocean Ave. entrance to the Balboa Park station. They just walk right through the emergency gate. It’s not like there’s security around to deter them. Half the time the two faregates there have problems accepting Clipper. The other half of the time the fare machines don’t let you add money to your Clipper card. I can see why people just walk through.

  • An open system simply will not work. Unarmed? Have you been on BART recently? In the 19 years I’ve lived here I’ve never felt unsafe on BART until the past year. Crime is up so let’s open the entire system and have unarmed POP inspectors. Sure. You first.

  • OldBolshevik

    A couple of days ago I saw BART fare inspectors, introduced to the system one year ago, for the very first time. They were standing around in clusters chatting with one another and didn’t inspect a single passenger’s proof of payment. Waste of money and completely ineffectual.