With an estimated $8.9 million budget surplus, BART is planning to expand their cleaning crews. That's good news! I just hope that it will make a visible difference. Will they clean during the day, after morning commute but before evening commute? Will they actually keep up with the frequent spills on the platform level to avoid passengers slipping? Will they actually pick up after fast food wrappers left all over the trains by mid-day riders for daily commuters to find during their ride home? Will they clean off urine, alcohol, throw-up, and other lovely things frequently surrounding the Civic Center BART station entrances (and some other stations I'm sure)?
We'll see if the cleaning crew will make a difference but this is indeed a step in the right direction.
However, I must question: Why is it that the $8.9 million surplus will only add 24 workers? What else will be done with the surplus? Don't tell me we are hiring superpower cleaning workers who cost that much each year? How else is BART using the surplus to help current conditions?
On a side note, expect another fare hike on 1/1/08. 5.4%! Board voted in 03 to increase fares every other year to offset inflation. Boy, BART just continues to get more pricey. How do passengers with lower incomes afford it??
I wish I had a real answer to you question. I was on a fence when it came to driving during my commute or riding BART.
I weighed a few factors, my time and the cost. The difference in cost was damn near even, while the time difference, atleast one was about about 45 minutes.
In the end, I decided to drive my commute, which was about 2 hours each way, depending on traffic. I just could not see continuing to send nearly $16.00 to ride round trip A DAY!
How lower income people do it, I wish I knew. Fare evade, maybe. Use those well placed elevators? LOL. I do wish there was some sort better discount program for riders. What exactly, I don't know. But I do know one thing, fares won't go down. Ever.
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