SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- ABC7 frequently focuses on issues plaguing BART, as part of our 'Building a Better Bay Area' initiative. Now, the transit agency's Board of Directors says it has heard your concerns and is making changes.
BART Board president, Bevan Dufty, said after they got the results of a January survey-- that they had a 14-percent reduction in rider satisfaction-- they decided to get serious about improving 'quality of life' within the system, by investing in safety.
BART has big problems with safety and crime, fare evasion, homelessness, drugs and cleanliness.
Dufty hopes their newly passed $2.3 billion budget, will help solve those problems with.
- $2.1 million towards 19 additional police officers
- $500,000 to fund four additional fare inspectors
- $2 million to fund efforts to reduce homelessness in the BART system
- $76 million for physical safety improvements at BART stations, like testing new fare gates and installing canopies at all downtown stations with roll gates and locks, to reduce negative activity on stairs and escalators when the system is closed.
"This budget is the biggest investment increase in safety," said Dufty, who added. "I really feel like this is a budget at the end of the day that really responds to what the riders want. They want a safer, cleaner, more reliable system."
On Thursday, the BART board passed the budget eight to one, which includes a 5.4-percent inflation-based fare increase starting on January 1, 2020.
Bevan says the fare hike will pay for 1,000 new trains, a new train control system and the new Hayward maintenance facility.
"When we surveyed 5,000 of our riders at the beginning of the year and we saw what they were unhappy about, it wasn't about fare adjustments, it was about what they experienced when they were on the system."
Dufty says the fare hike will amount to an additional 20 to 25 cents per trip.
BART will be participating in a fare discount pilot program for lower-income riders, that will offer a 20-percent discount per trip.
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