Published Monday, December 27, 2010, by the San Francisco Chronicle
By Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross
Ticket tax: The state is adding another $3 charge to parking fines.
For Oakland, that means starting Jan. 3 the average fine for overstaying a meter will go up to $58.
"It's depressing, but we have no choice," Oakland City Councilwoman Pat Kernighan said. "The state already takes $10 for every ticket."
The hike was part of the latest budget passed by state lawmakers. It's up to cities whether to pass on the extra charge to drivers who receive parking fines.
"If we don't pay, then we have to come up with something like $900,000 a year, which would pay for about five cops," Kernighan said.
San Francisco, on the other hand, has decided not to hike ticket prices, opting instead to just pay the fee.
"Over the years we've been raising fines and were trying our best to avoid raising them again," said Metropolitan Transportation spokesman Paul Rose.
But then, S.F. tickets are already $65.
And finally: Word that the new Clipper Card allows some passengers to exit BART stations without paying their full fare prompted a sharp critique from BART board President James Fang.
"Maybe what we should do is encourage more people to do this, so they fix it," Fang said.
He's angry at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which put out the fare card that riders can use on a number of Bay Area public transit systems.
Scott Haggerty, chairman of the commission and an Alameda County supervisor, shot back a letter calling Fang's comment "grandstanding."
He reminded Fang of the commission's bailouts for BART extension projects to Antioch and Warm Springs, plus "our thoroughly enjoyable experience with the Oakland Airport Connector."
"I suggest that you consult a dictionary for the meaning of a word entirely missing from BART's interactions with MTC," Haggerty wrote. "That word is: gratitude."
Contact columnists Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross at (415) 777-8815, or e-mail matierandross@...
[BATN: See also:
New state $3 parking fine court fee to cost SF MTA $3m this year (1 Nov 10)
Clipper card BART cheats triple to 200/day since flaw was exposed
BART: Clipper card cheating up -- but not enough to close loophole
MTC's Clipper card convenience feature allow riders to cheat BART
Clipper farecard feature allows $2 single-use trip scam on BART