Will These New Turnstiles Stop Fare Evasion? MTA Thinks So
NEW YORK CITY — Try jumping over this, fare evaders.
That was the implicit message MTA officials sent this week as they unveiled a slew of redesigned turnstiles during an event in Grand Central Terminal.
Transit officials didn't give a timeline for when this next generation of turnstiles could appear across the system's 472 subway stations, but the gates follow the recommendations of a "blue-ribbon" panel on fare evasion.
"Modernizing fare arrays - turnstiles, exit gates, and other physical barriers – is the single most important thing the MTA can do to reduce fare evasion in the subway, saving hundreds of millions of dollars over time," the panel wrote in their 129-page study released Wednesday.
About 400,000 riders a day skip paying fares by jumping turnstiles or going through emergency doors, at a cost of $285 million to the MTA last year alone, the study found.
Fare and toll evasion on subways, buses, commuter trains and bridges and tunnels cost the MTA $690 million in 2022, according to the study.
For subways, the panel noted more than half of fare evasion is from people going through emergency exit gates. To combat both this and fare jumping, they recommended to effectively replace the doors and turnstiles.
"The state-of-the art solution is to get rid of the turnstiles altogether and replace them with tall, motorized plexiglass doors," it states.
"Done right, these doors are too high to jump over, too low to duck under, and too strong to push open."
The prototype doors appear to follow those specifications.
Read the full study here.Matt Troutman