It seems like the only solution BART Board can think of in order to supplement the budget is fare hikes. Now, they are proposing to increase fares to and from San Francisco Airport by 10%.
It already takes 70 minutes for me to take BART from Orinda to SFO, much longer than driving to SFO during off-peak hours which is when I generally schedule my flights. Yet, I've continued to be a fan of taking BART to SFO because of its direct access to the terminal and the savings we gain from not having to pay for parking.
However, if the fare continues to rise to the range of $15 and beyond (we all know fare hikes will continue), I like would not take BART to SFO for short, weekend trips, or one-day business trips.
I remember pre BART it would cost me $30+ to go to SF or OAK and get loaded up in a small van with other people. Now I use SF exclusively since BART runs right into the Airport.
while I do not have the stats to hand, the typical result of a fare increase will be a drop in ridership, thus no real revenue gain. As to whose ox should be gored, IMHO, first the suits including eliminating ALL director compensation, second the well paid but nearly useless station agents. In the upcoming labor negotiations, workers should pay more toward their "beni's" As to fares, bringing the extreme spawl rates up to the same per mile as urban riders pay would be a first step toward equity.
If they really want to increase revenue they should LOWER fares. The increase in ridership would probably make up for it..... I know several people who are on the bubble as to whether or not to continue riding BART. A fare increase will send those people back to their cars...
--How about actually collecting the fares from all thos people who take one of the 11 elevators from the platform, to the free area!
--How about making all those people who ride for free, ie off duty police, probation officers or what have you and make them pay.
--How about having parking validation inside the stations, so I can actually get a parking space, instead of all those car poolers parking at the station and not riding BART
--How about pay toilet inside, so those bums who mess them up would at least have to pay to do it!
Just a few ideas
Fare increases disproportionately affect the poor which is mentioned primarily because BART is supposed to be PUBLIC transportation. This does not mean, IMHO, that anyone who can afford it can ride, but that it should be reasonably affordable for most people to use regularly. Various public services exist for higher social purposes such as, perhaps for BART, getting cars off the roads and thereby lessening pollution and road wear and tear. This also seems to be one reason why true proportionate pricing for city vs. suburban is not likely to happen, not to mention that suburban tickets would be so high that very few would be willing to pay. Even so, BART management still seems to be confused about BART's purpose and how to fund the system in a way that furthers those goals. Raising fares is an unimaginative approach that reflects the common current failure of businesses which, instead of seeking new solutions that grow business and customers, take the easy line of gouging the consumer.
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