BART looking for ways to rebuild declining ridership after losing 10 million riders on night, weekends

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Ten million fewer riders took BART on nights and weekends last year than rode the trains just four years earlier.

The transit agency released those figures as it launched its annual two-day workshop for BART Directors on accomplishments of the past year, and the challenges ahead.

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BART also released results of a rider survey of why fewer people took the trains.

The number one response was that people are just going out less on weekends.

Number two was weekend trains don't run often enough, but reasons three, four, and five were lack of cleanliness, worries about crime and concern about the homeless.

BART is hiring more police officers and deploying more of them to ride the trains and staff each station to help with crime-fighting.

The agency is also considering incentives to get riders back on board, including discounting weekend Clipper fares or offering a flat fare for round trips.

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Another idea is to open the fare gates from 8 to noon on selected Saturdays or Sundays and increase the distribution of weekend promotional tickets.

BART Directors are discussing the ideas Thursday and will continue Friday, the last day of the workshop.

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