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BART flat fare may subsidize affluent suburban riders even more

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  • 9/18 CBS 5 TV
    Published Monday, September 18, 2006, by CBS 5 TV BART Proposes Flat Fare, But Some Say It s Unfair Ann Notarangelo Reporting (CBS 5) PLEASANT HILL -- You
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 19, 2006
      Published Monday, September 18, 2006, by CBS 5 TV

      BART Proposes Flat Fare, But Some Say It's Unfair

      Ann Notarangelo
      Reporting

      (CBS 5) PLEASANT HILL -- You could go dizzy studying a BART Fare
      chart. But the bottom line is some people pay more and some people
      pay less to use the same system.

      Some people say that's not fair. The cheapest fare on the BART line
      is $1.40 for people travelling only to the next station. The most
      expensive fare is Pittsburg/Baypoint to SFO which costs $7.65. BART
      rider, Rick Rehe says he's never quite understood how they figure
      out the fares, "Is it by miles?" he asked.

      The confusion over fare pricing is not limited to riders, but also
      BART staff whose sole purpose is to add up the various surcharges --
      fees for going through the Transbay Tube and to the airport, among
      others

      BART Director, Joel Keller is proposing a flat fare. $2.50 for every
      rider no matter how far they travel. Keller thinks more people would
      ride. It would help Joevelyn Smith who take BART every day, "Bus
      fare is a set price. BART should be a set price for everywhere."
      She said.

      But urban riders don't want to pay more while suburban riders pay
      less. "If that becomes the bottom line that it's unfair to urban
      riders and too fair for suburban riders," Keller said, "That's
      something we can talk about and negotiate."

      Stuart Cohen with the Transportation and Land Use Coalition believes
      there should be off-peak hour discounts and monthly passes. He
      explains it this way, "The monthly pass could also be based on how
      many trips you've already taken that month. Anytime you've taken
      40 trips, the rest of the month is free."

      Another idea is to have one flat rate for urban riders and
      another for suburban riders. Simplifying the system is apparently
      complicated. "The reason BART has none of these discounts is how
      complicated it is with their variable rate structure." Cohen said, "
      And so, it needs a lot of analysis."
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