New Philly Fare Gates ‘Astonishingly Easy to Beat’

A set of high-tech gates aimed at limiting fare evasion is already failing.

1 minute read

April 8, 2024, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Transit police officer standing on subway platform with blurred train passing behind him.

SEPTA / Transit police

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) introduced new fare gates aimed at reducing fare evasion and improving security. The gates were installed at the 69th Street station on the Market-Frankford Line.

According to an article from 6ABC, “The gates will utilize 3D technology to distinguish between adults, children and objects -- such as wheelchairs, strollers and luggage.” The agency will evaluate their success before potentially adding them to more stations.

An article in Philadelphia Magazine by Victor Fiorillo calls the gates “astonishingly easy to beat,” noting that there is a 14-inch gap at the bottom of the gates. In fact, a SEPTA employee said they already witnessed someone sliding under them. Additionally, the gates stay open long enough for two or even three people to pass through. Fiorillo writes, “A SEPTA staffer I spoke with at 69th Street laughed at the notion of SEPTA police doing anything about fare evasion. That staffer has worked for many years at 69th Street Station and has never seen a SEPTA cop do anything about fare-evaders.”

This all begs the question, is spending millions on reducing fare evasion worth it?

Wednesday, April 3, 2024 in 6ABC

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