WASHINGTON - Metro riders put new higher and stronger faregates that were designed to help the transit agency stop people from getting on trains without paying to the test Tuesday.
FOX 5's Melanie Alnwick was at the Fort Totten Station in northeast D.C. the morning the new faregates were introduced and captured several suspected fare evaders on camera.
One of the suspected fare evaders appeared to forcefully push the gates causing them to open just enough for him to get through. Two others walked side-by-side through a widened gate meant to be used by people with disabilities allowing them to seemingly only pay for one fare.
Metro spent months testing and modifying the faregates before beginning the systemwide rollout. The new doors are now 55-inches tall, twice as strong, and more resilient than the originals.
Suspected Metro fare evaders caught on camera getting through newly improved gates at Fort Totten
"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 CEO, Randy Clarke in a statement. "The bottom line is fare evasion is not okay, and we will continue our efforts to ensure everyone is respecting the community's system and each other."
Alnwick says several people were given warnings to go back and pay their fare once officers arrived. One person was arrested after refusing to comply and go back and pay.
The first 10 stations are expected to have the new faregates by early fall.