MTA hopes to fight fare evasion with new subway turnstile designs
The MTA hopes that new designs for the turnstiles on the way into subway stations will help fight against fare evasion - a problem it says will cost the city hundreds of millions of dollars in 2023.
"That is unacceptable by any measure," New York City Transit Authority President Richard Davey said at a press conference earlier this year. "And it is certainly unacceptable for our fare-paying customers who have told us here for example, I feel like a sucker for paying."
Among the ways the city wants to fix this, the MTA is now asking for firms to submit designs for new turnstiles that are harder to get around, which could look like the two-paneled ones recently put in at the JFK Airport and Barclays Center stations.
Despite the innovations, Charlton D'Souza, the president of advocacy group Passengers United, tells News 12 that "station agents have told me that the new turnstiles are already a disaster," citing issues with MetroCards being eaten by the gates, as well as two or three people lining up behind wheelchairs at the gates and following them in before it closes, still evading the fare.
The MTA says they're seeing those issues, too, and that these gates are just a test. Passengers United goes a step further - saying there's no need to rush, and that new York should watch what other cities are doing - then see what works best.
Passengers United Vice President Jack Nierenberg points to the Netherlands as one example, where "their turnstiles are high enough so that people can't jump over them, and low enough that people can't jump under them."
D'Souza says New York could also take notes from the Washington Metro, which has new walls.
"Let's say you're going into the turnstile, and somebody comes right behind you, it locks, it has a sensor," says D'Souza.
Both sides agree there are other th