SAN FRANCISCO—BART’s new fare gates to stop fare jumpers are causing problems for disabled riders.
The new double-tall fare gates have a set of wedges that come together in the middle, similar to the ones that are used by the John F. Kennedy Airtrain in the Jamaica train station in Queens, New York. The gates are designed as part of BART’s system to prevent riders from jumping fares. Starting in 2018, BART began retrofitting the gates to increase air pressure to close the gates.
According to the disabled community, the new gates close down on the headrest of riders in wheelchairs. Corbett O’Toole posted a photo of that happening to her on Facebook.
BART defended the new gates in a statement on Tuesday, June 11 that read:
“BART staff has reviewed footage from cameras installed on the gate and confirms that the upper flaps have not hit riders nor caused injuries,” said Anna Duckworth, a spokesperson BART. “In response to concerns, we have positioned BART staff at the fare gate to show people how it works and to answer questions.”
At present, the only disability-friendly gate designed for riders in wheelchairs is located at the Richmond Station.