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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Photos of the New Muni Fare Gates

Muni is in the process of installing new metro fare gates and ticketing machines. I was able to photograph two stations with major installations happening.

Some background:
Muni's current fare gates have been in existence for over 25 years (basically, since the metro system was born) and they are getting old. The machines can jam on occasion, and a lot of people take their sweet time shoving $2 worth of coins into the machine just to enter the system. The machines are not dollar bill friendly and the station agents encourage customers to use their change machines to get the dollar coins, or rip-off BART's ticketing machines for quarters. The machines are so old, you might find one on the electronic screen that says "ASS or $2.00."

The New Fare Gates:
Muni is finally giving the old fare gates the heave-ho and welcoming a new generation of fare gates. Since Muni is transitioning to Clipper, so does the new fare gates taking advantage of the RFID card technology. The gates will not accept coins and will accept Clipper cards and Muni's "limited use" paper Clipper cards. The gates have also been fitted with temporary card swipe devices because while the gates will be eventually in service, certain paper Muni passes will still be in use until April 2011.

Muni New Faregates - Civic Center Station Secondary GatesMuni New Faregates - Civic Center Station Secondary Gates

Instead of the classic turnstile we have been used to, they now have doors that open both ways. There is also a wide gate for disabled, those with baby carriages and luggage.

The New Ticketing Machines:
Since the fare gates will not accept coins, the metro stations must have ticketing machines, similar to BART's ticketing machines. Clipper card users can check on their balance, add e-cash, and add passes (including those from other agencies). For the casual passenger, they can purchase a brand new plastic Clipper card or purchase Muni fare with a paper "limited use" Clipper card.

Muni Clipper Ticketing Machine - Civic Center Secondary GatesMuni Clipper Ticketing Machine - Civic Center Secondary Gates

The "limited use" Clipper card is going to be a unique feature for Muni metro. There will be no more spitting out of transfers from the fare gates; passengers will get a paper version of a Clipper card with the rights and privileges that cash paying customers get, such as 90 minute transfers. The big disadvantages of the paper card is it will cost $0.25 for every "limited use" ticket issued, can only be used on Muni, and the lifespan of the card is 90 days (OK to reload funds).

Currently, the gates and ticketing machines are not yet ready for public use. You can find the new gates and ticketing machines at Civic Center secondary/east gates, and just the ticketing machines at Powell Station (both entrances).

To view all the photos, click here or watch the slideshow below:


Erorg said...

Dont wanna be a killjoy, but in NYC they had to extend the gates toward the ground, as the 15 inch gap under them like the ones in SF were enough for people to evade fare.

Matt said...

Interesting that one of the example paper Clipper tickets has a cable card on it - presumably since the paper tickets are for eCash, you won't be able to use them on the cable cars.

Anonymous said...

@Erorg - Many of the entrances to NYC's subway system are unstaffed so they have to use ground to ceiling gates to keep fare evasion down. Muni does more fare inspection, so they don't need to completely trap people out.

Mario said...

On one of the photos I can see the new Muni ticketing machines right next to the TransLink machines. Presumably the BART fare machines are nearby. All three will eventually allow loading funds into Clipper cards. That is very confusing. Why doesn't Clipper just make the 90-day Clipper cards standard, and create their own generic machines, so that Muni doesn't have to? I know that Muni got some stimulus funding for the machines, but it seems really wasteful.

Akit said...

Mario: The only thing I know is the Clipper add value machines are eventually going to be removed and put to good use at Caltrain stations.

Anonymous said...

it's a little hard to tell from the photos - but - you can tap the fare machine to pay money but you can't tape the faregate like now to enter the system?

not to mention, you'd think it would be less expensive to have extended paddles going down that pay for the money-losing inspector program.

have anyone at muni ever been in charge of a successful commercial implementation?

nevermind, i know the answer.

no, and they don't (really) want feedback from outside their comfort zone of staff and acolytes.

Akit said...

The gates will also accept Clipper with the tagging motion. The temporary card swipe is there for the magnetic passes.