(KRON) — The BART Board of Directors approved a new budget on Thursday. Among the changes that the transportation agency will implement are fare increases and a revised parking policy.
BART said it has a $93 million deficit looming over the 2025 financial year. It has relied on federal funding since the COVID-19 pandemic, but it expects the funding to run out around March 2025. After that, BART could face deficits of $300 million a year without temporary state funding.
“Despite our best efforts to hold the line on expenses and grow revenues with modest fare increases, we are still facing a structural, ongoing budget gap,” said BART Board General Manager Bob Powers. “It’s a stark reminder that BART alone cannot solve the financial crisis created by the pandemic. Right now, BART needs temporary state funding to bridge the gap while we pursue a sustainable source of operating funds to help advance the Bay Area and California’s economic, climate, and equity goals.”
The fare will increase twice over the next two years, by 5.5% each time. BART said its board approved these increases, which are tied to inflation, over a single 11.4% increase.
The first increase will take effect in January. With it in place, a trip from the Downtown Berkeley station to Embracadero will climb 25 cents to $4.25. A trip from Antioch to Montgomery will be $8.60 — currently, that trip costs $8.20.
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BART’s new parking policy will allow for varying parking prices within a certain range. Daily prices for most lots will remain at $3.00.
The fare increases are expected to bring in $26 million more to BART through the 2025 financial year. The parking changes will “help offset BART’s parking operating cost deficit,” BART said.