SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Fare increases come like clockwork on BART, but one director wants to put the brakes on that process. Debora Allen, BART Board Director for District One, says the transit agency needs to rethink the fare increases.
“We just raised bridge tolls, we just raised gas taxes, the average working commuter is getting hit too hard and I don’t think right now is the right time to raise our fares,” Allen told KPIX 5.
The BART Board is set to vote on June 13 about a fare increase for next year, as well as future fare hikes.
“I think BART staff in general wants to see the fare increase. They want to see regular fare increases. I approved that concept two years ago when I was new on the board,” Allen said. “Over the past two years, I haven’t seen the improvements I’m looking for.”
The hike could cost rider up to 40 cents extra each day, each way.
BART Board President Bevan Dufty says the health of BART as a whole is at stake.
“This actual money from the fare adjustment is gonna go for new trains, one of the most popular things,” Dufty said. He also said they’re part of a bigger plan to expand service and put new trains in the system.
“It makes us one of the top transit agencies as far as fiscal solvency, I’m not really sure that unraveling that at this point is in the best interests of building a better BART system.”
Allen says the $12 million from the fare hike won’t be missed.
“I’m saying that 12 million dollars is not critical at this time to fund into those major projects. We currently have somewhere around 700 million dollars sitting in unreserved cash and cash equivalents in our bank accounts,” Allen said.