BART introduces new entry gates to stop fare dodgers in Oakland
For decades, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) passengers have observed frequent instances of individuals circumventing fare payment by utilizing various means to bypass the existing low-level barriers. However, this practice may soon reach its conclusion.
Commencing on Thursday, commuters at West Oakland Station will be the first to encounter BART’s innovative approach to access control: towering fare gates exceeding seven feet in height, equipped with robust and transparent polycarbonate doors. These enhanced security measures represent a stark contrast to the hip-level gates prevalent throughout BART’s history, which have unfortunately proven susceptible to unauthorized entry.
The initial deployment at West Oakland Station marks the beginning of a comprehensive $90 million initiative to replace the entirety of BART’s 700+ fare gates, encompassing elevator entrances as well. The project is anticipated to be completed by summer 2025.
One of the primary deterrents to fare evasion presented by the new gates lies in the extensive coverage provided by the clear, saloon-style doors, extending near the ground level. At the West Oakland Station entrance, the towering gates resemble a fortified wall, with a steel bridge connecting them above the swing doors.
BART anticipates increased fare revenue collection as a result of these improved security measures. This aligns with a critical need for the agency, projected to face significant operating deficits exceeding nine figures in 2026 due to sluggish post-pandemic ridership recovery.
To coincide with the introduction of the new gates at West Oakland Station, BART will also implement an enhanced fare discount program, offering a 50% reduction for low-income riders.