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BART spends $130K on digital monitor pilot project at Civic Center Station

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BART has installed new digital monitors above fare gates at the Civic Center Station. (Courtesy BART)

Weeks after increasing fares, BART and the Federal Transit Administration shelled out $130,000 for an eight-month pilot program of new digital monitors above fare gates.

On Jan. 1, BART increased fares 2.7 percent and initiated a 50 cent charge on blue tickets to encourage riders to purchase $3 reusable Clipper cards. With funding from BART, matched by the FTA, new monitors were installed directly above the fare gates near the east entrance of Civic Center Station.

Civic Center is the first and only BART station to implement these monitors for riders before crossing the fare gate as a test to find out how effective the screens are for commuters.

SEE RELATED: Three people detained for fare evasion at BART stations on Friday

Real-time screens are meant to keep riders informed about BART arrival times in an attempt to offer riders the option to choose a better route of transportation before swiping their Clipper — or up-charged blue ticket. Other than offering updated BART departure times, the monitors have also been installed to give updates on service advisories, like when a station is closed.

BART officials will begin intercept surveys at Civic Center Station in February to check the readability, usefulness and most effective location of the monitors.

BART’s ridership and passenger revenue took a hit last year that it has yet to recover from. Daily ridership declined 4.5 percent in 2017, and revenue from weekend riders went down an average of 14 percent.

Alicia Trost, BART department manager, says this pilot program was a direct response to rider feedback and has been in the works for a few years and its goal is to give more useful information in the places riders want to see it.

“This idea was specifically based off rider feedback and complaints when they purchase a ticket and find out there is a delay and get charged excursion fare,” Trost said.

If proven effective after the trial period, BART will seek more funding to expand the monitors to other stations.

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