BART train pulling into platform with waiting passengers

BART Board Approves Parking, Fare Increases

BART train pulling into platform with waiting passengers
(“Richmond, California BART station” by Flickr user The West End under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license)

By Lydia Sidhom
Bay City News

BART’s Board of Directors approved a new pricing parking policy on Thursday. The proposed policy updates the allowed price ranges for BART’s parking spaces and allows for the floors and ceilings to be gradually adjusted based on inflation over time.

The proposed price range for the daily fee is $3 to $6.30 per day from its current $1 to $3 per day. For the single/multi-day fee, the proposed fee is $4 to $11 compared to the current price of $4 to $7; for the monthly fee, the proposed fee is $84 to $220, an increase from the current $63 to $105 range.

The proposal also extends the hours for which parking is paid to include afternoons and weekends at stations where lots are 90% full.

Due to parking being readily available, this change will not immediately impact most stations.

Parking prices will vary by station, and local parking taxes apply in certain areas. San Francisco has a parking tax of 25%, Oakland has a 18.5% tax, and Berkeley has a 10% tax.

BART’s parking operating cost deficit was about $17 million this fiscal year, which is one of the reasons behind the implementation of the new policy. Updating the policy is also a way for BART to be in sync with parking prices across the Bay Area and among peer transit agencies, stated the resolution’s executive decision document.

The board also voted to approve fare increases. Fares will rise twice over two years, by 5.5% each. This is a compromise from the original proposal of a single increase of 11.4%.

The average fare, which is currently $4.20, will increase by 23 cents as a result, according to a BART press release.

While some board members and public commenters voiced concern about the impact of increasing parking and fare fees, granting a larger discount to low-income riders was approved. The Clipper START fare discount, which provides single-ride fare discounts to individuals aged 19 to 64 under 200% of the federal poverty level, will be increased from 20% to 50%.

The board also approved a budget that is balanced for the 2024 fiscal year but has a deficit of $93 million for the 2025 fiscal year.

This reflects, BART board general manager Bob Powers said, the challenges BART has faced in emerging from the pandemic.

“It’s a stark reminder that BART alone cannot solve the financial crisis created by the pandemic,” Powers stated. “Right now, BART needs temporary state funding to bridge the gap while we pursue a sustainable source of operating funds to advance the Bay Area and California’s economic, climate and equity goals.”

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