BART fares increase 6.1% starting July 1 as District deals with $250 million four-year deficit


BART fares increase 6.1% starting July 1 as District deals with $250 million four-year deficit

BART fares will increase beginning July 1, 2009, by 6.1%, or an average fare increase of 20 cents. The fare increase was originally scheduled to take effect January 1, 2010, but the BART Board of Directors moved up the start date of the increase as part of its efforts to close a $250 million four-year deficit.

In May 2003, the BART Board of Directors approved raising fares every other year based on the average of inflation over the course of two years minus 0.5% to encourage BART to find cost savings and not rely on inflationary revenue increases. But BART is not immune to the national economic crisis that’s significantly impacting the State of California.  Lower sales tax receipts, lower ridership and the elimination of state funding assistance have taken their toll and now BART faces a challenging operating budget deficit.

The BART Board is committed to reducing two-thirds of this shortfall through various internal cost-cutting measures. However, in order to address a portion of the deficit, the BART Board voted on May 28th  to move up the regularly scheduled fare increase, to increase the lowest priced fare, to raise the premium fare on trips to and from San Francisco International Airport Station and to expand the $1/day parking fee program to eight more East Bay stations.

Here’s a summary of the changes taking effect Wednesday, July 1, 2009:

  • Cost of living -based (CPI) fare increase of 6.1% on all fares
  • Increase of lowest priced fare from $1.50 to $1.75 (will be equal to or less than cash fare of other Bay Area agencies, e.g. $2 AC Transit;  $2 Muni; $1.75 SamTrans)
  • Raise the premium fare on trips to & from SFO from $1.50 to $4.00

The longest commute trip, between Pittsburg/Bay Point and Millbrae, will go from $6.60 to $7.05.  The increased SFO premium fare means that a BART ride from downtown San Francisco to the airport will go from $5.35 to $8.10, still less expensive than the alternatives:  a taxi cab ride costs $35, a shuttle van $20.  For a list of all fares, download the complete fare chart.

SERVICE CHANGES AND PARKING FEE EXPANSION AHEAD

BART will make several cost cutting service changes beginning in September. BART will return to train service every 20 minutes on nights and on weekends instead of the current 15 minutes. Also, BART will have one route service on the peninsula on nights and on weekends starting in September.

BART will also expand the $1/day parking program to eight additional East Bay stations. The parking fees will be phased in over the next six months. The stations are: South Hayward, Bay Fair, San Leandro, Richmond, El Cerrito del Norte,  Pittsburg/Bay Point, Concord and Pleasant Hill.