SFO wants BART's fare increase waived--for its employees

Transit agency spokesman calls request 'insane'

San Francisco International Airport representatives have asked that a BART-to-SFO surcharge that recently increased by $2.50 be waived for airport employees, an idea a BART spokesman shot down as "insane."

BART directors voted to raise fares in May, including by increasing the surcharge for trips to the airport from $1.50 to $4. The increase took effect July 1.

But airport spokesman Mike McCarron said the change is unfair to airport workers because they're paying a surcharge of $8 a day to get to work and back, which is $5 more than they had been paying.

However, BART spokesman Linton Johnson said that with a combination of three types of discounts available to airport employees, they can pay less than if BART were to waive the $4 charge.

"The airport is being 100 percent disingenuous," he said. "It's stunning to me they're taking this position."

Johnson said BART offered to extend a 25 percent discount to all airport workers, a discount that previously applied only to airline employees. The offer remains on the table, he said.

He also said all employees who work in the county of San Francisco have the option of paying for BART tickets with pre-tax dollars taken from their paychecks before they are taxed, an option that can save them an average of 25 percent.

Additionally, he said, employees can save by using high-value tickets, an easy-rider system similar to FasTrak that allows riders to buy tickets worth $48 for only $42.

"The bottom line is, you can get up to a 56.2 percent discount," Johnson said.

McCarron said in regard to the 56.2 percent, "That I'm not aware of, but the airport would still like to see the surcharge waived for all its employees."

The airport has been providing a free shuttle for its workers from the Millbrae station to the airport that runs about every 20 minutes. McCarron said about 700 of its 1,100 employees who ride BART to work have been using the shuttle.

Jeb Bing, Bay City News

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Like this comment
Posted by Tennesse Jed
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Jul 22, 2009 at 8:06 am

What a bunch of nimrods! No one gave me discounts on the Dumbarton Bridge when the $1.00 toll went to 4 bucks! Don't like it? Don't use it!

Like this comment
Posted by Gator
a resident of another community
on Aug 10, 2009 at 10:47 pm

Bring back the Millbrae to SFO shuttle bus for all passengers of CalTrain and BART.

Like this comment
Posted by Concerned Reader
a resident of another community
on Aug 10, 2009 at 11:06 pm

Why is Jeb Bing's name on an article entirely written by someone else?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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