BART flat fare may subsidize affluent suburban riders even more
- Published Monday, September 18, 2006, by CBS 5 TV
BART Proposes Flat Fare, But Some Say It's Unfair
(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
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."
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."