BART directors vote to increase fares, parking fees

February 28, 2013 8:02:10 PM PST
Not only will BART riders pay more to ride the trains next year, they'll also have to pay more if they drive a car and park at a BART station. The transit agency says it needs the money to pay for new trains, and to keep up with growing ridership.

Fares will go up as early as January of next year, since the BART Board of Directors voted Thursday to continue a fare increase plan that started in 2006. BART riders will also pay more for parking.

"Nobody likes to pay more for something," BART Board President Tom Radulevich said. "But hopefully our riders will understand that we're trying to keep their ride high quality and good value for money."

An inflation-based fare increase of about five percent will translate to an average of 18 cents per roundtrip ticket. Parking fees will go up by $1 at all stations, including those where it's now free. The exception is the West Oakland station which is already $5.

The increases could continue up or down by 50 cents depending on demand at individual lots, with increases capped at $3.

"No problem," BART rider Shaun Carberry said. "A dollar is worth it to park here. It's free now, but a dollar is not gonna hurt me, it's two postage stamps."

Alfonso Navarro rides BART to work every day, "Money every day, lotta money, five days, what about one month, and one year," he said.

Radulevich says the agency needs the money to pay for the expensive new trains and other system improvements that total a remarkable $10 billion. He notes that the agency also has to plan for growing ridership, with no end in sight.

"BART's booming, our ridership is going up," Radulevich said. "Which is both an opportunity but it's also a huge challenge."

People with Clipper cards, like Marissa Bowman-Frye, will likely see a cost increase. But that's up to another transportation agency -- the MTC.

"I'm just happy to have public transit," Bowman-Frye said.

BART says the increase in fares and parking fees will go a long way in helping it win government grants also for funding for its capital program.


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