Less people are riding BART and safety, cleanliness are to blame, survey says

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — For the third straight year BART ridership is down and passengers concerns are helping fuel that decline — from homelessness to cleanliness and crime.​

Despite how cramped and crowded BART can be, ridership is down, predominantly on nights and weekends, so much so that overall ridership has dropped steadily by about 4 million riders each year since 2016.

“The rider is not happy with what they get when they get on BART,” said the transit agency’s director, Debra Allen.

Allen says a recent customer satisfaction survey puts the blame on quality of life issues.

“Homeless, safety and security, cleanliness and fare evasion,” she said.

While riders are upset, they face paying more.

BART’s every other year inflation rate fare increase is set to kick in Jan. 1, 2020 with a fare hike of a 5.4 percent and then this June, BART directors are set to OK another inflation rate hike for January of 2022. But not all on the board are on board for the hike.

“Now is not the time to do that when our ridership is still declining and our rider satisfaction is declining as well,” Allen said.

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