WMATA unveils robust fare gate upgrade to combat evasion

Posted: 27 July 2023 | | No comments yet

With a strategic plan to retrofit stations gradually over the next year, WMATA aims to bolster community respect for the transit system and foster a more inclusive transportation experience for all passengers.

WMATA unveils robust fare gate upgrade to combat evasion

Credit: Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has announced that it has commenced the installation of new, improved fare gates at Fort Totten Station, marking the start of a system wide upgrade. These re-designed doors, standing at 55 inches tall and twice as strong as the original prototype, aim to deter fare evasion more effectively.

The installation process will take place in phases, with Fort Totten and Pentagon City stations being the first to receive the modifications. The plan is to retrofit faregates across the entire system over the course of the next year, with the initial 10 stations expected to be completed by early autumn.

“Over the past several months, our team has been testing different prototypes to get to this final design. We have already seen a reduction in fare evasion and expect the higher gates will be more of a deterrent,” said Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, Randy Clarke. “The bottom line is fare evasion is not okay, and we will continue our efforts to ensure everyone is respecting the community’s system and each other.”

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To promote accessibility, single door panels will be installed for regular faregates, while wider gates will receive double door panels for wheelchair access. In conjunction with these faregate improvements, WMATA’s increased enforcement efforts have led to positive behavioural changes and a decrease in fare evasion incidents.

Moreover, WMATA has introduced a new reduced fare programme called Metro Lift, offering a 50% discount to customers eligible for SNAP benefits in the District, Maryland and Virginia. So far, over 1600 customers have enrolled, collectively taking nearly 17,000 trips.