WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) said Monday that crews began installing higher and stronger fare gates to prevent fare violations.
The new, inverted L-shape door panels, which are an updated version of the prototype tested, reduce gaps between openings. With an increase of 55 inches in the barriers’ height, compared to the prototype, the panels should make it difficult for people to jump them.
The swing doors are made of polycarbonate, which is 200 times stronger than glass, lighter in weight, and more durable. The final design also includes stronger hinges and a more powerful motor to strengthen the door.
“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.
Metro will put in a single-door panel for all regular fare gates, and double-door panels at the wider gates for wheelchairs and easier accessibility.
The fare gate modifications will be installed in phases over the course of the coming year.
Installation at Fort Totten is expected to be completed overnight, July 24 into July 25, followed by installation at Pentagon City.
After installation at Fort Totten and Pentagon City, the first phase of new fare gates will be installed at Bethesda, Mt. Vernon Square, Addison Road, Congress Heights, Wheaton, Federal Center SW, and Court House stations. That’s supposed to wrap up by early fall.