MTA installs new turnstiles designed to stop fare evasion
The traditional turnstiles at a subway station in Queens have been fully replaced with new wide-aisle fare gates, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Monday. Designed to increase accessibility and prevent fare evasion, the new fare gates were deployed at the Sutphin Boulevard Archer Avenue-JFK Airport subway station in Jamaica. The fare gates replace the emergency exit gate at the end of the station; more than half of all fare evasion occurs through these emergency gates, according to the MTA.
In May, the MTA unveiled the design prototype for its anti-fare-evasion turnstiles, following the release of a report by the MTA’s Blue-Ribbon Panel on Fare Evasion that found that the transit agency had lost $690 million in unpaid fares and tolls across the system in 2022. Approximately 400,000 daily riders, or 10 to 15 percent of riders, did not pay a fare.
“New York City Transit’s North Star is improving the customer experience, and we are doing just that at Sutphin Blvd by introducing new, easier-to-access, fare gates and by opening our 14th Customer Service Center,” NYC Transit President Richard Davey said.
“Customers traveling to and from JFK with their luggage, commuters transferring from the LIRR at Jamaica, and local commuters can look forward to faster, more accessible journeys, and a more welcoming station environment.”
The new fare gates feature wide aisles, making it easier for those with strollers, wheelchairs, and luggage. Additionally, at the north end of the station’s mezzanine, four traditional turnstiles installed with OMNY technology have been installed to improve customer flow.
The installation marks the first full deployment of the new fare gates in the subway system following a test pilot at the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center station in March 2023. The MTA plans to assess the effects of the new fare gates to determine the possibility of replacing turnstiles at other subway stations in the future.
In addition to the new fare gates, the MTA has opened a new customer service center in the Jamaica station, the 14th center in the entire subway system. Historically, subway customer service has been limited to NYC Transit’s service center at 3 Stone Street in Lower Manhattan. With the new service centers, transit officials can assist commuters directly at stations within their home boroughs.
New York City Transit plans to open another center before the end of the year.
The service centers feature repurposed booths, new retail outlets, improved accessibility, OMNY technology, and a more welcoming visual aesthetic for customers. This includes new lighting, branded wrapping, and canopies with customer service agents ready to assist with signing up for Reduced-Fare, converting riders to OMNY, and other general inquiries.
NYC Transit plans to open another customer service center in the system before the end of the year.