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Fare Collection in the Subway

From nycsubway.org

The original method of fare collection was by means of tickets and ticket choppers, which were operated by guards at each station.


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Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: New York Transit Museum



The IRT determined that its own employees were cheating it so the turnstile was introduced. The first turnstile took nickels. There were various designs of turnstiles before the now familiar four arm wooden model became the standard.


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Photo by: Jason R. DeCesare
Location: 161st Street/River Avenue (Yankee Stadium)

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Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: New York Transit Museum

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Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: New York Transit Museum



The next evolution in turnstile design was introduced for the 1939-1940 World's Fair and featured coin slots for entrance and exit. In the 1950s, metal turnstiles were introduced to many stations especially in Manhattan. These were three arm models, with the arms in a vertical arrangement vs. the horizontal arrangement of the wooden models. The IRT differed from the BMT in the use of requiring passage through the turnstile to exit rather than slam gates used on the BMT.


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Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: New York Transit Museum

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Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: New York Transit Museum



Design changed little until the late 1980s when the first attempt at automated Fare Collection (AFC) was introduced. This model took coins as well as tokens but did not last.


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Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: New York Transit Museum



The current turnstile dates back to 1994 and takes tokens and MetroCards. This turnstile communicates with a computer in the station as well as a terminal in the booth. Before AFC, Station Agents had to take paper and pen when pulling the wheels (emptying the turnstiles) as well as determining the number of tokens received as fare payments. AFC turnstile information is displayed on the screen in the booth enabling automatic recordation of each wheel (turnstile) as well as total tokens collected. In case of computer failure, the token counter reading is also displayed on the display window of each turnstile.


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Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: New York Transit Museum



Another recent innovation is the HEET or High Entrance Exit Turnstile which allows entry to an area without a booth. The HEET does not take tokens -- Metrocard only! -- and is slowly replacing the High Entrance Turnstile more affectionately known as an "Iron Maiden". Also found are high exit turnstiles which were original painted wood and are now stainless steel with curved round arms.


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Photo by: Richard Brome
Location: 225th Street

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Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: New York Transit Museum

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Photo by: Wayne Whitehorne
Location: 63rd Drive/Rego Park



Page Credits

By Peggy Darlington.









http://www.nycsubway.org/wiki/Fare_Collection_in_the_Subway
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