A 25-cent “surcharge” for all commuter rides between San Francisco and the East Bay, a 2 percent increase to fares, more expensive parking rates and cuts to service are part of a new series of proposals being considered by BART to cover a $25.2 million midyear deficit.
The fare increases are part of a new package of revenue-generating proposals submitted at the request of the transit agency’s board of directors, which balked at an earlier set of measures because it included the elimination of 74 employee positions.
Combined with the 2 percent fare increase, the 25-cent “Transbay Tube surcharge” would bring in an extra $17.5 million annually. BART’s revenue has decreased with dwindling ridership, lower than expected returns from regional sales taxes and massive cuts in state funds.
The transit agency also is considering a separate 10-cent Transbay Tube surcharge option, which would generate $5 million annually.
The new proposals — which include a plan to increase rates at parking lots, reduce service times by two hours and use more of the district’s operating reserve — will be presented at the board of directors meeting Thursday.
The new proposals must be approved by the board before being implemented.
At a previous board meeting, two directors — including President James Fang — suggested investigating the surcharge for the Transbay Tube as a way to mirror a set of toll increases that are likely to go into effect on Bay Area bridges this summer. Several other members of the board countered that they would not support any fare increases.
In July, BART raised fares by 6 percent, increased the lowest fare price from $1.50 to $1.75 and hiked the surcharge to San Francisco International Airport from $1.50 to $4.
Theresa Morgan, 21, travels on BART three days a week from her home in San Leandro to school in San Francisco, a round-trip trek that already costs $8.20. If both the 2 percent fare increase and the 25-cent surcharge were implemented, the round-trip costs would go up to $8.86.
“The costs are already pushing the limits for me,” Morgan said. “Something like this would definitely make me consider taking online classes instead of coming into The City.”
BART spokesman Linton Johnson said there wasn’t a timeline for the fare increases since the proposals are preliminary, but price hikes typically go into effect Jan. 1 or July 1.
Under the first set of budget-balancing proposals, which are being recommended by BART staff, the agency would eliminate 74 positions for a savings of $6 million — although only seven employees would actually be let go due to restructuring. The agency would also divert $19.2 million in flexible federal and stimulus money into its operating budget.
$5.80 Current round-trip cost to travel from downtown San Francisco to West Oakland station
$6.42 Cost for same trip if both 2 percent fare increase and 25-cent surcharge were added
$12.5 million Annual revenue that would come from 25-cent surcharge
$5 million Annual revenue that would come from 10-cent surcharge
$5 million Annual revenue that would come from 2 percent fare increase