Friday, September 12, 2008

Raising peak hour fares to spread out demand? I say NO!

Have you heard of BART's latest idea? Because of the sharp rise in BART ridership the past year, specifically during peak commute hours, BART is thinking of raising fares during high-demand hours in order to encourage some riders to change their train commute schedules, making the trains a bit less crowded.

I ride during those hours and if the raise the fares, I will still ride during those hours. I have responsibilities at work and cannot just stroll in at 10:30am or leave at 3pm!

BART says it'll make the system safer? Perhaps. It sure gets crowded but there are other ways to accommodate more passengers. For one, CHANGE the configuration of the trains...REMOVE the cushioned chairs layout and replace them with benches! That will increase train capacity by at least a bit.

The definition of "crowded train" is completely different than what a "crowded train" is in Europe and Asia. Not that I want us to follow the standards of Tokyo and Hong Kong subways where max capacity means every body that patrolmen can push into the trains (that is frightening) but there are other things BART can do to accommodate more passengers during peak hours. I vote for seat reconfiguration!

Meanwhile, rising gas prices, the trend and pressure to become "greener" have pushed more commuters onto BART. Isn't that a good thing?

Please do not punish those of us who already have to work hard to keep up with the dimming economy!!


Anonymous said...

hey this is from the management which canceled a 28 car order to make the airport misdesign look less ugly saying better maintenance will mean more available cars. Imagine how bad the crush would be if their wildly optimistic airport ## had been right.
Even better is redlining Montgomery.

Anonymous said...

this might send more people back onto the roads...

Anonymous said...

BART exists to provide mass transit that gets people out of their cars and off the roads, and ideally people can actually afford to use the system. So circumstances align and more people use BART so now BART wants to raise the fares? Sounds like BART mismanagement lurking behind the scenes again. If anything, why don't they reduce off-peak fares to encourage riders at those times? Why do their thought processes only seem to work in one direction? I'm glad i can see the day when i no longer have to ride BART.

Anonymous said...

As am employee I don't like this idea. Why punish those who are getting off the road and parking their car in order to commute on the train? I don't see how forcing commuters to change their riding schedule would actually help anyone?

I agree with some other ideas, the reconfiguration of the cars, remove more seats. Yet any sort of reconditioning of the cars will cost money, which will most likely be put on the ridership (increased fares).

Also a less crowded train does not a safer train. How is that justified? Safer from what? Crowded platforms? People falling in a train? Incidents like this happen regardless of how crowded a train or platform is.

While I don't follow BART news I am sure there will be a fare hike at the end of the year. There always seems to be. As well as the unions moving into the contract year in 2009. I am sure those who will pay will be the ridership as unfortunate as it is. I wish employees had more of a voice as to the decisions being made.

Personally, I wanna thank all those who put up with BS daily on the trains. You are the ones who make BART successful.

Anonymous said...

In a quick follow up. I just read the article in the CC Times and quote, "fee hikes could also pay for more trains and other improvements." I sure hope they don't mean more trains during commute. Why? Because the system cannot handle any more trains during commute. The Transbay Tube is the choke point in the system from the city to the East Bay. So adding more trains to the fleet, sure I can understand that, but not more trains running in the system at an already saturated commute. Yet that came from a transportation consultant how does not have all the facts or know the entire store. Typical consultant.

Anonymous said...

Here's a novel idea... why not just add more cars to the existing trains? Most of the BART trains are only carrying 8 or 9 cars.. they should expand to 10, at least during the commute hours.

Anonymous said...

Don't have the cars to add to each 9 car train, sorry. I wish it were that easy, but its not.