SEPTA cracking down on fare evaders with new full-length fare gates

Attention fare evaders, SEPTA is putting everyone on notice.

SEPTA will test new gates in its 69th Station and along the Norristown High Speed Line in an effort to stop fare evaders and save millions of dollars.

SEPTA’s CEO was only too happy to pass through the new gates at 69th Street Station on the Market-Frankfort Line. Designed to stop fare evaders, if they work it’s a whopping $30 to $40 million back in the authority’s pockets.

Leslie Richards, SEPTA’s CEO, said, "We need people to know that you must pay to get on SEPTA. That this is a service and it’s not fair to our riders who pay to ride."


SEPTA is investing $1 million to install the French built, tech-heavy gates. Sturdy, clear plastic doors block riders until they swipe, and if they don’t, SEPTA said 3-D image technology from above, paired with a picture from a SEPTA camera, should help catch the fare jumper.

Charles Lawson is SEPTA’s Chief of Police. He claimed the gates, "Offers lots of opportunities to enforce fare evasion. It makes it harder for fare evaders to get through the terminal. We think that improves safety by orders of magnitude."

Arguing crime is dropping along the system, violence in and outside its stations has plagued SEPTA and new state funding is dependent on a safer operation. Chief Lawson argues fare evaders often cause trouble.

No gate is 100 percent effective, CEO Richards said. The authority said the new gates can hold back 90 pounds of pressure. Paying riders, drawn to all the commotion Wednesday morning, were happy others will have to ante up.

J.R. Perez, of North Philadelphia, said, "It’s embarrassing to know people, who say they love the city, don’t realize just how much you’re taking when SEPTA is how I get around, but you jump the fence."