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BART Fares to Increase 5.2%

BART fares will rise on Jan. 1 as part of previously approved, periodic increases to pay for new cars to replace the aging fleet as well as other improvements.

BART train. Photo credit: Charles Burress
BART train. Photo credit: Charles Burress
By Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News Service

Starting on Jan. 1, 2014, BART riders will pay slightly higher train fares to help pay for new train cars and other projects, according to BART officials.

BART passengers will pay, on average, an extra 19 cents per ride to finance projects that BART officials say will ensure reliable, safe and clean train service for the Bay Area in the coming years.

The BART Board of Directors voted in February to continue BART's inflation-based fare increase program, in place since 2003.

The projects supported by the program will aim to replace and improve BART's "aging system." This includes purchasing Fleet of the Future train cars, a new train control system to improve reliability and to allow more trains to run more frequently, and the expansion of and improvements to the Hayward Maintenance Complex to serve the new fleet and support future service to Silicon Valley.

The inflation-based fare increase program means that predictable, but small changes to the prices are made, instead of larger increases with little notice, BART officials said.

The renewal of the program means that fare increases will continue every two years until 2020 and is expected to generate $325 million for the new programs.

"BART is required to come up with a portion of funding for many of our capital projects in order to qualify to receive extra money from other sources," BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said. "BART must pay $800 million toward the cost of new rail cars -- this fare increase will help us achieve that goal."

The first increase will be 5.2 percent, according to BART officials.        

Copyright © 2013 by Bay City News, Inc. – Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.    
Gary Alan December 16, 2013 at 09:05 AM
Does anyone know when we will see the new cars? Wonder about new track? Going under the Bay sounds like a train wreck compared to other train noise around the world.
Mary December 16, 2013 at 12:52 PM
Great. A fare increase after two strikes and the possibility of a third one.
AboutTheSame December 16, 2013 at 04:34 PM
The current fare from North Berkeley to downtown San Francisco is $3.75. The new fare chart shows a fare of $4.00. That's a 6.67% increase.
Charles Burress (Editor) December 16, 2013 at 08:43 PM
In response to Gary Alan's question about the new cars, BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost replied: "People can find out about the new cars at bart.gov/cars. The first 10 pilot train cars will arrive in 2015 for comprehensive testing, followed by construction with the first trains being put into service in 2017. We will be wrapping up the design phase next year and the public will have an opportunity to walk through the final model of the new train car."
Charles Burress (Editor) December 16, 2013 at 08:46 PM
Regarding the comment from AboutTheSame on the percent increase, I asked BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost, who replied: "BART applies the 5.2% fare increase to each of the fare components (in this case, the base fare, the per-mile charge, the capital surcharge and the transbay surcharge). We add those components and round to the nearest nickel."
AboutTheSame December 17, 2013 at 02:34 PM
That is nonsensical: ".052xbase fare + .052xper-mile charge + .052xcapital surcharge = .052xtraansbay surcharge" has to be SAME number as .052x[those four things added together first]. If those four things currently total $3.75 (i.e., the current fare), you cannot get to $4.00 unless BART is rounding up each of the four components BEFORE adding them together. The extra 5 cents a ride is not going to break my bank, but that is just not an honest or accurate response from BART. Then again, there are the same people who don't read contracts before signing them, so nothing should surprise me. Thanks for the update. I have yet to have a response to my own email to them. ;)
AboutTheSame December 17, 2013 at 03:12 PM
That's supposed to be a "+" between ".052xcapital surcharge" and ".052xtransbay surcharge" (bad typing skills; good math skills).
Charles Burress (Editor) December 17, 2013 at 03:36 PM
I too wondered about that, since it seemed to me that $3.95 would be closer to a 5.2% increase. I hope you'll let us know if you receive a response from BART.
AboutTheSame December 21, 2013 at 06:06 PM
I have not heard anything from BART. So much for responding to rider concerns. (P.S. Your math is correct, Charles.)

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