Metro begins rollout of new, higher faregates to stop fare evasion
Metro has begun installing new higher, stronger faregates at Fort Totten Station as part of a systemwide rollout. The design improves upon the original prototype door following months of testing and modifications. The new doors are now 55-inches tall, twice as strong, and more resilient.
The installation at Fort Totten is expected to be completed overnight, followed by Pentagon City. The faregate modifications will be installed in phases with plans to retrofit faregates throughout the system over the next year. The first 10 stations are expected to be completed by early fall.
“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.”
The new 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 new height is taller than a hockey net or nearly half the height of a standard basketball hoop.
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, Metro is also raising the height of fencing and emergency gates.
Metro will install a single door panel for all regular faregates, and double door panels at the wider gates for accessibility and wheelchairs. Following Fort Totten and Pentagon City, the first phase of new faregates will be installed at Bethesda, Vienna*, Mt Vernon Sq, Addison Rd, Congress Heights, Wheaton, Federal Center SW, and Court House stations. Metro will notify customers prior to work beginning at stations through in-station signage and on Metro’s Faregate Retrofit Project page.
In addition to the faregate modifications, Metro’s stepped-up enforcement efforts have also helped to change behaviors and reduce fare evasion.
Last month, Metro also launched a new income-qualified reduced fare program, Metro Lift, to provide a 50 percent fare discount to customers who qualify for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits in the District, Maryland, and Virginia. To-date, more than 1600 customers have enrolled, taking nearly 17,000 combined trips.
For more information about Metro’s comprehensive efforts to modernize its fare system, visit wmata.com/faremodernization.