Turnstiles are mechanical gates or barriers that allow one person at a time to pass through in a particular direction, usually used for crowd control or access control. They are commonly found in public transport systems, amusement parks, stadiums, and other crowded venues. Turnstiles can be either waist-high or full-height and are typically operated by a token, ticket, or electronic card reader. They help prevent unauthorized access, reduce ticket fraud, and ensure the safety and security of the public. Turnstiles can also be used to count the number of people entering or exiting an area, providing valuable data for crowd management and planning.
The origins of turnstiles can be traced back to ancient times when they were used as a simple means of restricting access to certain areas. The modern turnstile, as we know it today, was invented in the mid-19th century and quickly became popular in public transport systems such as subways and trains. In the early 20th century, turnstiles became more advanced with the introduction of mechanical coin-operated models. As technology has advanced, electronic turnstiles with card readers and biometric scanners have become more common in everyday use.
In general, a standard turnstile with a single lane and no additional features can handle around 20 to 30 people per minute, which translates to 1,200 to 1,800 people per hour. However, turnstiles with wider lanes, multiple lanes, or advanced features such as electronic ticketing or biometric scanning can handle significantly more people per hour.
Turnstiles can present challenges for people with mobility impairments, especially those who use wheelchairs, crutches, or walkers. However, there are accessible turnstile options such as wider gates or gates that swing open, and many venues are required by law to provide accessible entrances. In addition, staff members are often available to assist individuals who need extra help getting through turnstiles.
People may jump turnstiles to avoid paying for access to a venue or transportation system, especially if they cannot afford the fee or if they believe the fee is unjustified. Additionally, some individuals may jump turnstiles as a form of protest against the system or as an act of civil disobedience.