BART fares to rise by 6.1% July 1 with $2.50 hike in airport surcharge

Transit agency says it needs increase to pay down $54 million budget deficit

BART directors voted Thursday to increase fares on July 1, but by less than the 10-percent level originally recommended by General Manager Dorothy Dugger and her staff.

At the end of a lengthy discussion, directors voted to raise basic train fares by 6.1 percent and increase the minimum fare for short trips by 25 cents, from $1.50 to $1.75.

Directors also voted to increase the surcharge for trips to and from San Francisco International Airport by $2.50, from $1.50 to $4.

In addition, BART directors voted to begin charging a $1 parking fee at additional stations. Parking fees already are in place at some stations.

BART normally increases fares every two years based on cost-of-living formulas and its next fare hike wasn't scheduled to occur until Jan. 1.

But the board voted to move up the fare increase by six months because the transit agency faces a $54 million budget deficit for the fiscal year starting July 1 and a $249 million budget shortfall over the next four years.

BART Board President Thomas Blalock said, "The idea of a 10-percent 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."

Blalock said, "We wanted to find a way to raise revenues without over-burdening our loyal customers."

Board Vice President James Fang said, "We decided on a $2.50 increase on the San Francisco airport surcharge because it allows us to raise much-needed revenues without impacting our regular riders," most of whom don't go to the airport.

Fang said the large fare hike to the San Francisco airport will mostly impact tourists and other out-of-town users.

He said, "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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Like this comment
Posted by Jamie Hancock
a resident of Las Positas
on May 29, 2009 at 1:36 pm

You watch, There will be an increase on fares in July of this year and another increase next year. They originaly wanted a 10% fee hike. So they will hit us with the rest next year. They must think we are idiots.

Like this comment
Posted by Bartd Integrity?
a resident of Livermore
on May 30, 2009 at 2:41 pm

This is the same BARTD that promised a seat for every rider, ample free parking at the stations, and quiet trains.
Now the carpets are going, so the trains are very noisy, they added grab rails for standees (and plan to remove seats), and more and more they want to charge for the parking that taxpayers paid to build, and even some street parking that is near the stations.

And Livermore, who was promised a station, has been paying for maybe 40 years, but instead of meeting their promise, BARDT is going to run tracks to Santa Clara!

Like this comment
Posted by I'm a regular rider
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on May 30, 2009 at 11:13 pm

I ride BART to and from SFO each and every flight. I don't think it's fair to increase that fare just because they think it will target tourists. Many of the people that ride BART to SFO are locals because they are the most familiar with the ease of using it. Tourists tend to use other forms of transportation in addition to BART. Boo BART!

Like this comment
Posted by ally
a resident of Country Fair
on May 31, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Fire all the Bart board directors!

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