BART considers increasing parking fines

March 12, 2008 9:31:09 PM PDT
Bay Area Rapid Transit District directors will decide Thursday whether to approve a staff proposal to impose much stiffer fines for riders who park illegally at stations.

BART's staff is proposing that fines for motorists who park illegally in red zones or areas reserved for permit holders be pushed to $40, an increase of $15.

For other violations, such as failing to pay the daily parking fee, the current $25 fine would go up to $35.

The fines for unauthorized parking in spaces designated for disabled drivers and parking longer than the stations' 24-hour time limit on weekdays would remain the same, at $275 and $100, respectively.

BART spokesman Linton Johnson said today the purpose for increasing the parking fines is "to stop parking poaching," not to increase revenues from parking fines.

In fact, he said BART officials predict that there will be a 10 percent reduction in parking tickets if the higher fines are imposed because the fines will deter some people from parking illegally.

Johnson said BART officials think current fines don't deter violators because it is sometimes less costly to park illegally and take the chance of getting a ticket than it is to drive and park in a lot in San Francisco's financial district.

He said BART hasn't raised its parking fines since 1993. The transit agency collected about $1.2 million in parking fines during the previous fiscal year, which ended last June 30, according to Johnson.