BART to consider increasing parking fines

March 13, 2008 12:31:21 PM PDT
BART directors are tackling a plan to drastically increase parking fines. Illegal parking has become a widespread problem at BART lots. BART hopes that by raising fines it will become a less common problem and people will no longer take the chance of getting a ticket because it will cost more.

For Gary McCoy and other BART commuters, there is a science to getting a parking spot at the Lake Merritt station in Oakland.

"If I don't get here by maybe 7:00 or 8:00 in the morning, then it's pretty much done until 10:00 for the daily parking. But I have to make sure that I get here at least 5 to 10 minutes before 10:00, because everyone is parked then, and then I sit and wait until its 10:00 - so I don't get a ticket," said Gary McCoy, BART commuter.

BART is hoping to make parking easier for commuters by raising parking fines to deter those who park at stations illegally.

"We are hoping that by raising the parking fees - we push the poachers away," said Linton Johnson, BART spokesman.

Right now, tickets for parking in a red zone are $25 dollars -- BART is proposing to increase the fine to $40 dollars. All other parking violations may increase from $25 to $35 dollars. It has been such a good deal to even get a ticket that violators continue to break the rules. McCoy admits he has had his fair share of tickets.

"It's still probably the best deal in parking around. I mean, if you're parking in San Francisco or wherever right now it's impossible the system is rigged - so you don't have a shot in San Francisco. The price is still pretty reasonable even if they still raise it," said Gary McCoy.

BART said even if they do raise the rates, they don't expect to generate much more revenue because they hope to write fewer tickets. If the board approves the rate increase they could go into effect in the next couple of months.


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