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BART Holds Off on Temporary Fare Decrease

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OAKLAND, Calif. (KCBS)_  BART passengers who were expecting a fare reduction may have to wait awhile longer if they get one at all.

The transit agency’s Board of Directors has extra money in its coffers, but wants to think things over.

BART’s accountants collected $4 million more in sales tax than expected, along with a $2.5 million surplus from earlier.

BART had previously announced an immediate temporary fare reduction and to hold off on a fare increase scheduled for January 1st 2012.

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BART’s chief spokesman Linton Johnson says it’s possible the money could be set aside for a rainy day.

There’s nothing in that reserve fund, so the staff is suggesting to the board to put it in the Capital Reserve Fund. $4 million seems like a lot of money to a lot of folks, but when you compare it to a half a billion dollar budget, it’s 0.4 percent. Some people call that decimal dust, or a rounding error. It sounds like a lot, but really in the grand scheme of things it’s not much,” said Johnson.

Johnson added that the recommendation will formally be made at the next board meeting.

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