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Budget hole filled without BART fare increases

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A 25-cent surcharge to travel on BART between the East Bay and San Francisco has been avoided — for now.

BART’s board of directors passed a budget revision Thursday that didn’t include plans for fare increases, but with the transit agency expected to face a large deficit in the upcoming fiscal year, the proposal to add a quarter for cross-Bay travel could be revisited.

Facing a $25.2 million hole, the board approved a budget proposal that included the elimination of 74 positions, which saved the transit agency $6 million, and the transfer of $19.2 million in federal funds from the capital budget to the operating budget.

That proposal was delayed for two weeks after several BART board members expressed concern about the employee layoffs. Many of the 74 positions set to be eliminated are vacant, and due to staff restructuring, only seven BART employees are currently set to be let go, although the transit agency hopes to find placement within the organization for those workers.

Carter Mau, financial director for BART, hinted that fare increases of some sort may be explored for next fiscal year’s budget, which is expected to contain a deficit larger than the $25.2 million just plugged.

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“We’re going to need further board decisions in the future,” Mau said. “And we should go with them at that time.”


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