Proposal to delay BART fare hikes

Bay Area

For the past 16 years, BART has hiked fares every two years based on inflation.

Another one of these increases which would hike fares 5.4% or an average of 22 cents a ride, is set to go into effect January of next year — But one BART director wants to put the brakes on this added hike.

“I think we need to give riders a break,” Debora Allen said.

BART director Debora Allen says ridership is dropping as is customer satisfaction and a fare increase will make matters worse.

“I think that every time that we raise fares, every time crime goes up, every time there’s a newsworthy incident on the system, we lose ridership,” Allen said.

“This really isn’t the right thing to do, it’s really a short term gambit,” Bevan Dufty said.

BART president Bevan Dufty says the $25-million generated from that fare hike is earmarked for new BART cars, as well as a new train control system — Both he says will improve the rider’s experience, and he says if the money is yanked, it will put BART’s remaining budget in flux.

“Where are the cuts going to be made if we’re not going to have the revenue that was anticipated with this inflation-based adjustment, will it come from safety, will it come out of station hardening, I don’t know,” Dufty said.

As for riders, they are not opposed to a fare hike but want the money earmarked for specific things.

Six votes are needed to halt the fare hike. The BART board will discuss the matter at its June 13 meeting.

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