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36770BART fares go up 5.4% January 1; BART to axe Caltrain-SFO link

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  • 12/9 SF Chronicle
    Dec 10, 2007
      Published Sunday, December 9, 2007, by the San Francisco Chronicle

      BART to raise fares, increase train frequency starting Jan. 1

      By Rachel Gordon
      Chronicle Staff Writer

      BART riders will have to dig deeper into their pockets when a 5.4
      percent fare increase kicks in Jan. 1, but the new year also will
      bring more frequent service.

      Starting next month, passengers will pay between 10 cents and 30
      cents more a trip, depending on the distance traveled. The minimum
      BART fare for one-way trips within San Francisco, for example, will
      jump to $1.50; the priciest one, between Millbrae and Pittsburg,
      will hit $6.60.

      The fare increase, one of a series approved by agency officials in
      2003, is expected to generate an additional $16 million a year for
      BART. Some of the extra money will help fund stepped-up cleaning of
      stations and cars -- a high priority for riders, according to a BART
      survey. More frequent service also is planned.

      Under the change, trains will run every 15 minutes instead of every
      20 minutes on Sundays and after 7 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays. That's
      the same frequency now offered during the Monday-Saturday daytime

      In addition, there will be more frequent service on the Peninsula,
      with trains serving Colma, South San Francisco and San Bruno set to
      run every eight minutes instead of every 15 minutes, as they now do,
      because the stations soon will be served by two lines.

      Airport passengers and workers also will be able to catch an earlier
      weekday train to San Francisco International Airport. The first run
      from downtown San Francisco to SFO will get people there at 5:15
      a.m., 16 minutes ahead of the current schedule.

      And while passengers who want to travel directly between Millbrae
      and the airport will be inconvenienced by the loss of that service,
      the new schedule will shorten the trip by six minutes for a greater
      number of people who are traveling from Millbrae to San Francisco.

      Lynette Sweet, president of the BART board of directors, said the
      changes will be a mixed bag for riders.

      "It's good news in that we are going to have more trains more often,
      but at the same time, the next automatic fare increase will be going
      in," she said.

      The BART board in 2003 approved a sequence of four fare increases
      that take effect every other year. It started with a 3.7 percent
      hike in 2006. The plan called for raising fares based on the rate
      of inflation, minus 0.5 percent. The formula was devised to force
      BART to find cost savings instead of relying solely on inflationary
      revenue increases, BART spokesman Linton Johnson said.

      By setting fare hikes over the long term, the agency has been able to
      lock in a more stable funding base. And politically, the elected BART
      Board of Directors avoids regular votes on unpopular fare increases.

      BART, which provides about 360,000 trips on an average weekday,
      recently has been experiencing a steady increase in ridership -- a
      marked turnaround from the decline in the years immediately following
      the collapse of the dot-com economy and the Sept. 11 terrorist

      During that period, riders saw service cuts and higher fares, a
      deadly combination for a transit agency trying to attract patrons.
      When ridership drops, so does revenue. The agency's operating budget
      is $627 million for the current fiscal year.

      Even though the fare hike is a done deal, BART officials hope the
      service improvements will blunt blowback from the public.


      Unless otherwise indicated, all adjustments take effect Jan. 1:

      * Fares go up 5.4 percent.

      * Direct service from Richmond to downtown San Francisco and Millbrae
      will start an hour earlier, around 4 a.m.

      * Direct service from Millbrae to SFO will be eliminated, but during
      most times there will be a timed transfer to SFO at the San Bruno

      * The first train from downtown San Francisco to SFO on weekday
      mornings will leave earlier, arriving at the airport at 5:15 a.m.

      * The Pittsburg/Bay Point line will go directly to SFO at all times,
      replacing the Dublin/Pleasanton-airport run.

      * Starting Jan. 2, the Richmond line will go directly to Millbrae on
      weekdays between 4 a.m. and 7 p.m. On nights, weekends and holidays,
      the Dublin/Pleasanton line will go to Millbrae.

      * For more information, see http://www.bart.gov or http://www.511.org

      E-mail Rachel Gordon at rgordon@...

      [BATN: See also:

      BART to run every 15 min. nights & weekends, predicts 66% farebox

      Roadshow: BART to end Caltrain-SFO link

      BART Millbrae a failure; Caltrain-SFO riders, taxpayers screwed

      BART to increase fares 5.4% January 1

      BART Director Keller pushes flat $2.50 fare for all BART rides

      BART's Keller seeks even more regressive flat fare scheme

      BART flat fare may subsidize affluent suburban riders even more

      New year to bring higher BART fares (24 Dec 05)

      BART fares to increase in new year, regressively as ever (21 Dec 05)

      BART to cut service, hike fares on failed Millbae extension (12 Aug

      BART to cut service, hike fares on failed Millbae extension (12 Aug

      Bleeding cash, BART board votes to raise fares (27 May 05)

      BART raising fares, proposes parking fees (27 May 05)

      BART fares increase 10% (1 Jan 04)

      BART fares to increase 10% on 1 January 2004 (23 Dec 03)

      BART fares to increase by 10% on 1 January 2004 (12 Dec 03)

      BART officials get pay hikes as fares go up 5% (9 Jan 03)

      BART fares rise 5% Jan 1; more eyed for seismic fix (6 Dec 02)