Tuesday, June 2, 2009

BART Board approves fare increase, added parking fees effective July 1st

Despite a $249 million, 4-year deficit, the BART Board of Directors rejected a 10% across-the-board fare hike saying that the burden for solving the deficit should fall most heavily on reducing costs.

At a May 28th meeting, board members said two-thirds of the solution will be from reducing labor and non-labor related expenses. However they did approve several modest fare increases along with expansion of parking fees:

  • Increased fares 6.1% effective July 1, 2009 (this CPI-based fare increase was previously scheduled for January 2010)
  • Increased lowest priced fare from $1.50 to $1.75
  • Raised the surcharge on trips to and from San Francisco International Airport from $1.50 to $4.00
  • Expanded the $1 a day parking program to eight more stations

Download the complete fare chart (128k .pdf)

“The idea of a 10% across-the-board fare increase didn’t sit well with most board members because it put too much of a financial strain on our regular commuters,” BART Board President Thomas Blalock said. “We wanted to find a way to raise revenues without over burdening our loyal customers.  Our riders already knew that our fares go up every other year by the cost of living – we simply accelerated the date on which the fares would normally go up by six months.  We also raised our lowest priced fare to be less than or in line with the cash fare of other Bay Area transit agencies.”

“We decided on a $2.50 increase on the SFO surcharge because it allows us to raise much needed revenues without impacting our regular riders,” BART Board Vice President James Fang said. Fang, who is the Board’s longest-serving member pointed out that only three percent of BART’s riders use the SFO Station and half of them are not regular riders, but tourists. “A BART ride from downtown San Francisco to the airport will go from $5.35 to $8.10 with the additional surcharge.  However, that’s still a bargain when you consider the alternative such as a $35 cab ride or a $20 shuttle van ride.”

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