New subway turnstile redesign prototypes have been unveiled by the MTA, and if there’s one thing to say about them it’s that they’re pretty futuristic looking!
On display at Grand Central Terminal yesterday, Wednesday, May 17, the new prototype design is the first major redesign of the turnstiles, which was created in hopes to curb fare evasion.
The MTA released the Final Report of the Blue-Ribbon Panel on Fare Evasion. This group, comprised of education, social justice, and law enforcement experts, first convened in May 2022 to get a better understanding of the causes of rising fare and toll evasion across the transit system and work to recommend actionable solutions.
The report shows that fare evasion has reached crisis levels, with the MTA losing an estimated $690 million in unpaid fares and tolls in 2022, which threatens the economics of mass transit.
And the prototypes are way more modernized than what we’ve grown accustomed to seeing.
Rather than a rolling turnstile entrance, the subway turnstile redesign prototypes use a pair of glass doors that slide open once a straphanger pays the fare.
According to MTA Construction and Development President Jamie Torres-Springer, the new turnstiles will “increase customer flow and accessibility while combating fare evasion by addressing the problems we see at turnstiles today.”
The new design will reduce the need for emergency fare gates which more than half of all subway fare evasion occurs through, causing them to become a “superhighway of fare evasion.”
In addition to the new subway turnstile redesign, the fare evasion report also suggests better supporting low-income transit riders and instituting enforcement that commits to policing and enforcement of penalties for evaders.
Earlier this year in February, the MTA also unveiled new wheelchair accessible “wide-aisle” turnstiles.
Two stations are set to see the new wide-aisle turnstiles beginning this spring, including Queens’ Sutphin Boulevard-Archer Avenue station and Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center station.
You can read more about the Final Report of the Blue-Ribbon Panel on Fare Evasion here.