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BART fares to increase in new year, regressively as ever

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  • 12/21 Bay City News
    Published Wednesday, December 21, 2005, by Bay City News BART prepares to raise fares by 3.7 percent Bay Area Rapid Transit fares will increase by 3.7 percent
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 21, 2005
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      Published Wednesday, December 21, 2005, by Bay City News

      BART prepares to raise fares by 3.7 percent

      Bay Area Rapid Transit fares will increase by 3.7 percent on Jan. 1,
      according to BART officials.

      In addition to the fare hike, BART has tacked on a [BATN: highly
      regressive] 10-cent surcharge to ticket prices for trips made within
      Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties, including Daly City.

      On top of that, SamTrans will add a 10-cent surcharge to rides that
      begin and end in San Mateo County and for trips between the five San
      Francisco International Airport extension stations and San Francisco
      BART stations. The five SFO extension stations are in Colma, South
      San Francisco, San Bruno, SFO and Millbrae.

      According to a Tuesday news release, the new minimum BART fare will
      increase from $1.25 to $1.40.

      [BATN: In other words, ALL intra-San Francisco or intra-Oakland trips
      -- the ones which cost BART the least to provide, are the most
      efficient use of BART's expensive infrastructure and rolling stock,
      and which use the oldest and most depreciated parts of the BART system
      -- will see fare increases of 12%, while longer-distance and generally
      wealthier exurban riders -- who solely benefit from but largely do not
      pay for BART's gargantuan parking infrastructure, and who solely use
      the spectacularly expensive and ruinously loss-making BART extensions
      of the last decade -- will see smaller comparative fare increases.]

      This is the first BART fare hike in two years, but BART spokesman Jim
      Allison said the new increase has been in the works for quite a while.
      The nine-member BART board of directors approved tying fare increases
      to the Consumer Price Index on May 22, 2003, Allison said.

      The increases are expected to generate $4.3 to $4.4 million between
      January and July 2006, when this fiscal year ends, Allison said.

      The revenue generated by the fare increases will go into BART's
      general fund to finance capital and operating expenses, which have
      gone up in the past year, Allison said. BART employees won't receive
      any raises as a result of the increased revenue. Employee salary
      increases were last implemented in July 2004, Allison said.

      BART's budget for the 2005-06 fiscal year is $500.4 million.

      BART has also announced that the price for discounted senior, disabled
      and youth tickets will go up from $6 to $9 beginning Jan. 1. The
      discounted tickets, called "Green" tickets for people 65 years and
      older, and "Red" tickets for children ages 5 to 12 and people with
      certain disabilities, will retain a value of $24, giving those riders
      $24 worth of BART trips for $9.

      The price increase for green and red tickets cuts the discount from 75
      percent to 62.5 percent off regular BART fares.

      According to a BART news release, the 62.5 percent discount for
      seniors, disabled riders and youth remains among the highest transit
      discounts nationwide.

      In addition, a 6.25 percent discount for tickets valued at $48 and $64
      will remain. Those tickets can be purchased for $45 and $60
      respectively, giving riders a discount of $3 and $4.

      Green and red tickets purchased for $6 before Jan. 1 will remain valid
      after the New Year.


      [BATN: BART press release:
      http://www.bart.gov/news/press/news20051202.asp
      ]
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