BART fares increase 10%
- Published Thursday, January 1, 2004, by Bay City News
BART fare increase goes into effect on New Year's Day
It now costs a little more to ride BART, due to a 10-percent fare
increase effective today.
This is only the second fare increase in eight years, according to
BART Board President Pete Snyder. The last one, a 5 percent increase,
went into effect last January.
BART officials say previous fare increases in the mid-1990s were
dedicated to helping fund the system's $1.2 billion system-wide
renovation program, which included rebuilding BART's original fleet
439 transit cars, replacing or rebuilding 120 escalators, overhauling
60 elevators, purchasing new vending equipment and fare gates and
The more recent increases, however, are needed to help make up for
significant operating deficits the transit system is facing and to
avoid reductions in service. Snyder is reminding riders that the
increases are still lower than the inflation rate for the same
eight-year time period.
"Costs have been going up while revenue was going down," Snyder
"Major increases have been seen in both health care and energy costs."
Snyder cites the downturn in the economy over the past three years as
the primary cause of the system's deficits. He says it has had a
negative impact on BART's two major sources of income: it has reduced
farebox revenue as a result of a decline in ridership and created less
than anticipated sales tax receipts in the three BART counties, of
which BART receives a small percentage.
When the fiscal year 2004 budget was adopted last spring, BART was
facing a $38.8 million deficit, transit officials say. That deficit
has been cut by more than $15 million through aggressive cost controls
and layoffs, in addition to the upcoming fare increase.
With the 10 percent fare increase, the minimum fare will go up from
$1.15 to $1.25, which BART officials say is closer to the cash fares
of other Bay Area transit systems such as San Francisco MUNI, AC
Transit and SamTrans.