Friday, October 24, 2008

More parking fees from BART coming-- fair?

In a crunch to balance their budget, BART has decided that one of the ways to generate extra $$ is to increase fees at 7 stations. Check out Rachel Gordon's article on SF Chronicle, if you haven't already.

It's a tough time for everyone right now, so I understand that something MUST be done. BART is also postponing refurbishment of trains, which makes very good sense at a time like this. However, isn't there something else they can do that does not involve parking fee increase? Or anything that will take more out of our shrinking wallets?


Anonymous said...

I suppose it's this or the incredibly stupid peak hours increase. I honestly feel like this will eventually make BART more expensive than driving. Not to mention other complaints that come from parking at BART: dinged doors or bumpers, cars broken into, the possibility of being mugged in the parking lot if you're late (and depending on the time of night/how well lit the lot is, etc.)

Anonymous said...

Real estate in the Bay Area is expensive... don't know why anyone would rent parking space for free...

I'm a huge fan of BART's plan to turn its parking lots into housing. Talk about financial windfall!

Anonymous said...

This is a good trend, because it sets a precedent for a funding source that may allow BART to construct additional parking--and especially more structure parking--in the future.

Of course the existing parking isn't free--either for debt service or maintenance costs (e.g., sweeping, striping, litter pickup, repaving, etc.). So fees help recoup those costs.

It is interesting to me that the parking costs at stations like Rockridge are so low--$1/day for daily parking--when the lots still fill by about 7 am. If BART was a private enterprise, it would adjust rates until there was a better balance between revenue and consumption. This seems to have worked well in West Oakland BART's small surface lots, where the $5/day charge is similar to surrounding private surface lots. Subsequent to BART imposing the $5 charge, surrounding lots raised their rates to about $6/day. Also, the number of people parking at West Oakland BART dropped precipitously the day the fee was first imposed--but only for about a week, suggesting people value the opportunity to park there at $5 or more.

Anonymous said...

Parking fees reduce the subsidy received by car drivers who also park at and commute at BART.

As a pedestrian, I find the suburban requirement that I subsidize car drivers (for example, when I shop at malls or other places where parking is free, and presumably paid for in part by the rents of businesses in the mall) unfair, so I appreciate approaches that reduce those subsidies.