Jump to content




Help Support AmtrakTrains.com by donating using the link above or becoming a Supporting Member.

Photo

BART fares 5% Higher


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 jccollins

jccollins

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,259 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Williams, Arizona
  • Interests:Amtrak, Grand Canyon Railway

Posted 01 January 2003 - 10:25 AM

The Bay Area Rapid Transit officials are raising fares, beginning today, by 5%. While this might not seem like a whole lot, BART is already an expensive "subway" type system. They recently began charging for guaranteed "premium" parking spots at most of their bigger stations. Those who can't afford shelling out an additional $63/month have to deal with full parking lots that can often take up to 30 minutes just to find a parking space (if you can find one at all).

I believe BART has already angered its passengers enough recently. Since 9-11, it closed restrooms in all its stations, cut its janitorial staff so stations and trains are much filthier than they were (it's pretty bad), cut trains from its schedule in an effort to save money, just began charging for the parking within the last few months, and now if raising fares. I am sure that it has done many other minor things that are a nuisance to its passengers, but I don't know all of them since I rarely (one a month, maybe) ride BART. Good luck, BART - but you're creating your own death! :blink:

--------
Article from Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- BART will raise fares starting Wednesday in an attempt to make up for a $60 million budget shortfall.

The 5 percent increase is expected to raise about $4 million through June, the end of the fiscal year, and should help the agency bounce back from a severe revenue drop, said BART spokesman Mike Healy.

The increase will amount to an extra nickel or dime per trip for most riders, while the price for longer rides will increase as much as 25 cents.

The fare hike, adopted in June by the BART board of directors, is the first in more than five years. Other steps to make up for the budget deficit have included layoffs, parking fees and project delays already in effect.

The prices will remain higher through June. Officials have not decided what will happen after that time. (my note: believe me - they won't cut the fares - they'll go up again if anything!)
JC Collins in Reno, Nevada.
Don't Motor! Ride Amtrak!

#2 tp49

tp49

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,775 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 01 January 2003 - 05:55 PM

To clarify, BART did close station bathrooms in response to 9/11, however, with the exception of the SF and Oakland stations many of the bathrooms were reopened, I know for a fact that Union City's are open and operational.

I actually like that BART raises their fares closer to annually for the most part as it is more fiscally responsible than what is done in the east and when they announce a fare increase it does not sound as bad as a proposed 10-30% increase in commuter fares on the NYMTA even though those fares remained constant for at least a decade.

The service rearrangements make minimal sense but I heard many were put into place in anticipation of the opening of the SFO extension sometime this year. The shorter trains are also a problem as many more people are forced to stand unless they get on at an endpoint station.

I can understand the attraction of having a reserved parking place at a station, but I come from the East Coast originally where an idea of this type is much more palatable as there are generations of people there who commuted to NYC on the train and as such, commuting by rail is more ingrained in the culture. BART is still an infant in terms of transit systems and if their ultimate goal is to get people out of their cars this thinking on their part is not working, especially since bus connections at most BART stations are weak at best, forcing people to drive to the station if they want to take the train.

BART also needs to refocus their planning from all these extra extensions to increasing and improving their existing service. Otherwise they are spreading their already limited resources way too thin to be effective in the long haul. They also need to realize that the percentage of their budget they are pinning on recovering from the farebox is unrealistic and is part of the reason they are facing the financial problems they are.

Translink the multi-agency fare card is something that needs to be in place in all stations not just those on the peninsula, and actually it would probably be better if all Bay Area transit services were centralized under one agency instead of being spread out over the several that already exist.

Just my .02 on the subject.

#3 AlanB

AlanB

    Engineer

  • Honored Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 29,357 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Queens, New York

Posted 01 January 2003 - 06:10 PM

I actually like that BART raises their fares annually for the most part as it is more fiscally responsible than what is done in the east and when they announce a fare increase it does not sound as bad as a proposed 10-30% increase in commuter fares on the NYMTA even though those fares remained constant for at least a decade.

I agree TP, I would much prefer a nickel increase each year. As opposed to a possible 50 cents hike, every 3 or 4 years. Now I'm not suggesting that they should just raise the fare every year, regardless of need. However, I do think that the budget and a possible increase be looked at each and every year. Then make a decision based upon need, not politics.

Instead here in NY, it's largely a political decision. We wait until after the Governor has been elected every four years, and then we raise the fare. All last year almost everyone kept talking about a surplus and no need to raise the fares. As soon as the November elections were over and the Governor was reelected, the surplus vanished and we are faced with a major fare increase.
Alan,

Take care and take trains!

#4 tp49

tp49

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,775 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 01 January 2003 - 06:13 PM

Alan,

Same thing with the CA state budget, after the governor was reelected it came out that there is a 35 billion dollar deficit which many of us know did not happen overnight. Makes life frustrating sometimes.

#5 Viewliner

Viewliner

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,275 posts
  • Location:New Jersey
  • Interests:Amtrak, Viewliners particularlly 2300, 2301 (62091) "Eastern View", and 8400, etc.

Posted 01 January 2003 - 06:14 PM

I agree with Alan, it wouldn't seem as bad, in fact one may get used to the increase each year.
Viewliner, Hail 2300!!!
My Website: Amtrak Online- An Unofficial Amtrak Website

#6 AlanB

AlanB

    Engineer

  • Honored Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 29,357 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Queens, New York

Posted 01 January 2003 - 06:21 PM

I can understand the attraction of having a reserved parking place at a station, but I come from the East Coast originally where an idea of this type is much more palatable as there are generations of people there who commuted to NYC on the train and as such, commuting by rail is more ingrained in the culture. BART is still an infant in terms of transit systems and if their ultimate goal is to get people out of their cars this thinking on their part is not working, especially since bus connections at most BART stations are weak at best, forcing people to drive to the station if they want to take the train.

TP,

You are quite correct, more than 1/2 if not 3/4's of all commuter stations in the NY area require a parking permit. One also must pay to obtain that permit. At some stations they actually assign you a spot, however most stations just require a permit or sticker to be displayed. Otherwise you will return to find your car with a ticket on it.

However while the MTA does control and receive revenue from some of the station parking lots, it does not control all of the lots. A private company controls some of the lots, and the local towns where the station is located control some. I'm not so sure about who controls the NJT lots.

Even in Boston many of the commuter lots require a payment to park. Most seem to operate on an honor system though. You walk up to a large board, slip a buck through a slot with the number of the spot that you parked your car in.
Alan,

Take care and take trains!

#7 tp49

tp49

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,775 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 01 January 2003 - 06:26 PM

However while the MTA does control and receive revenue from some of the station parking lots, it does not control all of the lots. A private company controls some of the lots, and the local towns where the station is located control some. I'm not so sure about who controls the NJT lots.


Alan,

Absolutly correct, I used to work for the Town of Hempstead on LI before I moved to California and they control the parking lots at stations in unincorporated areas of wouthern Nassau County west of Seaford. My family still lives in one of the incorporated villages there and they control the permits for their lots.

One point to note however, is thast the parking permits on the East Coast are cheaper than what BART is charging. For example, the village I am originally from charges resident commuters $125 a year to park in the station lots. BART is charging $63 per month for reserved parking at their stations which is a much less attractive option.

#8 Viewliner

Viewliner

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,275 posts
  • Location:New Jersey
  • Interests:Amtrak, Viewliners particularlly 2300, 2301 (62091) "Eastern View", and 8400, etc.

Posted 01 January 2003 - 06:27 PM

Alan, The way NJT works is quite complicated and I suggest checking www.njtransit.com if you want specifics.

It varies, NJT controls some lots, like South Orange (and Newark I believe), where anyone can obtain a permit. In some communities, like Millburn and Short Hills, you must be a resident in that community and obtain it from that community. On the weekends however, I think anyone can park in these spaces.
Viewliner, Hail 2300!!!
My Website: Amtrak Online- An Unofficial Amtrak Website

#9 AlanB

AlanB

    Engineer

  • Honored Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 29,357 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Queens, New York

Posted 01 January 2003 - 06:43 PM

One point to note however, is thast the parking permits on the East Coast are cheaper than what BART is charging. For example, the village I am originally from charges resident commuters $125 a year to park in the station lots. BART is charging $63 per month for reserved parking at their stations which is a much less attractive option.

Well that's certainly a huge difference, and would tend to suggest that BART is charging, if not gouging, the commuters.

I do have one question though, which could offset some of that difference. Are BART fares comparable to LIRR fares, based upon distance traveled? If they are cheaper then that would mitigate some of the parking expense.

Also consider that most people riding the LIRR also need to pay for Subway fare, once they reach the city. A monthly subway pass costs $63 bucks I believe. So that might also help to make the total commuting cost comparable between BART & the LIRR.
Alan,

Take care and take trains!

#10 tp49

tp49

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,775 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 02 January 2003 - 10:41 PM

I do have one question though, which could offset some of that difference. Are BART fares comparable to LIRR fares, based upon distance traveled? If they are cheaper then that would mitigate some of the parking expense.

Also consider that most people riding the LIRR also need to pay for Subway fare, once they reach the city. A monthly subway pass costs $63 bucks I believe. So that might also help to make the total commuting cost comparable between BART & the LIRR.


Until the increase took effect as I have not seen a fare chart to see what it went up to, BART fares ran about one dollar less than the equivilant off-peak fare on the LIRR or three dollars less than the average peak fare from an equivilant distance. This is as BART does not charge based on time of day only distance.

IIRC you could get some sort of a discount on either the rail fare or the monthly Metrocard by ordering a monthly ticket via Mail-n-Ride. BART on the other hand (and is something I meant to mention previously as something I cannot stand about BART) is that there is no weekly ticket or monthly ticket available. You can get what is called a BART Plus ticket which provides somewhat of a discount on connecting transit as it serves as a flash pass but is only good for two weeks out of the month and provides no discount for rail fare.

I am going to analyze the anticipated average cost per ride when buying a monthly ticket on the LIRR versus the regular peak fare, and compare it with BART to see which is truly a better bargain. I will base my analysis on 20 round trips per month (average number of weekdays in a month) to come to some conclusion.

#11 Bill Haithcoat

Bill Haithcoat

    Engineer

  • Honored Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,112 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:atlanta, georgia
  • Interests:passenger trains

Posted 05 January 2003 - 04:32 PM

When I moved to Atlanta 25 years ago, MARTA(the subway/bus system) charged only 25 cents per ride!!


Today the charge is $1.75, any distance any time of day. (connecting with other systems may sometimes cause an extra fare...not sure of the details)

But there are weekly and monthly passes which give you some savings if you ride reguarly. I think the public is sold a monthly pass of $50. However, I work for a large company which has its own set-up and I pay only $35 per month for MARTA . So if I average about 14 one way rides per week, that is about 56 per month, or a charge per ride of just about 63 cents. I think I am going rather well.. Parking is not an issue with me...I think most lots are free but some charge a small amount, like maybe $3 per day.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users