Update – see below
At busy times, queues can form at station fare gates, especially when large numbers of people arrive from multiple trains at once.
But it’s noticeable than some people wait for the person in front of them to go through and for the gate to close before touching their card. This slows things down.
You don’t need to wait. When the light acknowledging the previous person’s card goes off (or for older readers, when it says “Touch here”) you can touch your card – even if the gate itself hasn’t closed yet behind the previous person.
In the video above, hopefully you can see that the guy in front of me waits until the previous person has cleared the gate and the gate has fully closed, then he touches.
But I touch my card and follow before the gate has closed.
This helps keep the queue moving rather than a stop-start shuffle.
Given ongoing problems at some busy stations, I’m surprised authorities haven’t tried to educate passengers on this – particularly now all the busiest stations have the faster readers.
Keeping people moving through the gate line seems like a logical step to help improve flows through stations.
Update – it turns out there’s a complication! I’m told that at some locations, going through this fast may not be possible – the gate may get confused and close on you. This seems to be an issue with some of the red coloured gates in particular – not the yellow ones shown above. So if the gate is red, you’re right to be wary.