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BART fares up 5 percent

By Mike Dinoffria, Special to the Daily Planet
Friday June 28, 2002

After debating through the morning and into the afternoon Thursday, BART officials increased fares for all BART trips by 5 percent starting Jan. 1. Despite objection, the East Bay’s bus agency A.C. Transit is likely to follow with an 11 percent increase on its adult fares.  

And, across the bay, the price of crossing the Golden Gate Bridge in a car jumped 67 percent – from $3 to $5. 

The rise in BART fares is part of a series of measures that BART directors implemented to make up for a $28 million budget deficit. A.C. Transit is raising its fares because it is faced with a financial deficit next year caused by a decline in sales tax revenues.  

It will require a transfer of $8.5 million from equity to maintain service at the existing level. 

The A.C. Transit Board heard objections from A.C. transit riders Thursday at hearings at 12:30 and 5:30 p.m. The board was scheduled to vote on the proposal either Thursday night or today.  

The proposal calls for adult fares to be raised from $1.35 to $1.50, and a ten cent increase for senior and youth fares.  

Transbay commuters are likely to see an increase from $2.50 to $3.00. The board can choose to approve the entire proposal or approve parts of it with modification. 

During Thursday’s hearings, most who testified agreed that prices are too high already.  

Hoang Banh was against the elimination of transfers.  

“Eliminating the transfer will make it prohibitively expensive to transfer,” said Banh who lives in the Diamond district in Oakland, and used A.C. transit while attending U.C. Berkeley.  

Other BART measures include the launching of a new parking policy that will set aside one-quarter of all spaces at BART parking lots for reserved use on weekdays. Under the program, those who wish to reserve parking will pay $63 a month to have a space reserved until 10 a.m. They chose instead to institute a program that will make one-fourth of all BART station parking spaces into reserved spaces, where those who want guaranteed weekday parking until 10 a.m. will be able to obtain it by paying $3 a day. 

Also discussed on Thursday, across the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway, and Transportation District’s finance committee recommended a toll hike to $5 to cross the Golden Gate. The 19-member board will vote today. The board will consider charging pedestrians and cyclists $1 to cross the bridge later in the year. Now, it’s free. 


The Associated Press and Daily Planet news services contributed to this story.