Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA) reports its new, higher faregates are reducing fare evasion by more than 70 percent at the first stations where they have been installed, including Fort Totten, Pentagon City, Bethesda, Vienna, Mt. Vernon Square and Addison Road.
The new faregate design includes an L-shape door panel that extends over the faregate to minimize gaps between the openings. The increase in barrier height from the original 28 to 48-inch prototype to 55 inches will also make it more difficult to jump over faregates.
The swing doors are made of a polycarbonate, which is 200 times stronger than glass, lighter weight and more durable. The final design also includes more robust hinges and a more powerful motor to strengthen the door. As stations are retrofitted with the new barriers, WMATA is also raising the height of fencing and emergency gates.
New faregate installation was completed on Aug. 22 at Congress Heights and installation at Federal Center SW, Wheaton and Court House is expected to be completed by early September, followed by the rest of the Metrorail system. WMATA will continue to monitor the performance of the new faregates as the rollout is completed.
"After testing multiple prototypes and getting feedback from customers, the new faregate design is having its intended effect – reducing fare evasion,” said WMATA General Manager and CEO Randy Clarke. “It is critical for WMATA to collect as much fare revenue as possible and keep the system safe so we have a transit system worthy of this great region.”
WMATA is publishing both paid and unpaid ridership data on its online ridership portal to provide transparency on the effectiveness of fare evasion reduction strategies and a more complete picture of total ridership to the public.