The Bay Area Rapid Transit District will seek community input next month about upping ticket prices, an increase aimed at generating approximately $5 million in new revenue for the upcoming fiscal year.
BART has proposed three different models to implement the fee increases, which are set to take effect in July.
The first would increase fares by 1.4 percent across the board, which would be followed by a series of inflation-based increases that began in 2006. This method would continue a policy approved by the BART Board of Directors in 2003 that increases fares every other year to keep up with inflation, according to BART spokesperson Jim Allison.
Currently one-way BART fares, set with a mileage-based formula, range between a minimum of $1.75 to a maximum of $10.90. The proposed 1.4 percent increase would raise this price range to between approximately $1.75 and $11.05.
The second option being considered would only affect fares for transbay trips between the East Bay and San Francisco, increasing each fare by $0.10. The third option would increase all fares by $0.05.
In every option, the proposed increase would apply equally to discounted fares for seniors and children who would continue to receive 62.5 percent cheaper rates.
The transit agency will hold five meetings between March 6 and March 19 in Oakland, Concord, San Francisco’s Mission District, Daly City and Richmond to allow community members to express the effects that the different increase models would have on their transit experiences.
“We’ll see what the budget looks like and how people view fare increases,” said BART Board of Directors President Bob Franklin. “We make decisions based on anticipated budget costs and people’s responses.”
Darius Rodriguez, a freshman at Berkeley City College, said he rides BART almost every day but might start using other forms of transit if BART prices are increased too much.
“Depending on how much rates are, I’ll find other options how to get here,” he said.
In part, the proposed fare increases are meant to help fund 775 new BART train cars, which are set to begin rolling out in 2014. Some of those cars will also be used for a new line connecting San Jose to the established transit system. According to Allison, the system currently has 59 of the original cars that were purchased between 1970 and 1974, 389 that were bought in a second round between 1984 and 1987 and 230 that were purchased between 1990 and 1992.
BART estimates the long-range cost of the replacement plan at $3 billion, the majority of which will be paid for by a combination of local, state and federal government spending. BART projects the transit agency will contribute 25 percent of the cost.