Supervisors call payment plan to BART a ripoff 

click to enlarge San Francisco reimburses BART for in-city rides taken by Fast Pass holders, but The City wasn’t too pleased about proposed hikes in their rates. - S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • S.F. Examiner File Photo
  • San Francisco reimburses BART for in-city rides taken by Fast Pass holders, but The City wasn’t too pleased about proposed hikes in their rates.

On the little macaroni noodle that passes for a political spectrum in San Francisco, supervisors Mark Farrell and David Campos are on opposite ends. So you know something is a stinker when both men turn up their noses at it, and that’s just what happened at Wednesday’s  Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee meeting.

At issue was a contract that lays out the discounted amount that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will reimburse BART for each time a person uses a Muni Fast Pass on BART within The City. The prior agreement from 2003 until ’09 increased every two years based on the consumer price index, and when the agreement ended in 2009, the final rate was $1.09.

But from 2006 to ’11, BART fares within The City went up at a rate much higher than the index — from 50 cents to $1.75. Now BART wants the agency to pay $1.19 for rides between 2010 and ’12, and $1.21 for rides between 2013 and ’14. This is decidedly different from using the index. It instead pegs the fee to increases in BART fares we had no control over.

“The fact that we don’t control it, I don’t think, is an inherently bad thing,” transportation chief Ed Reiskin said.
“We’re getting the short end of the stick,” Campos said.

Added Farrell: “I think they got the better of us.”

A very nice lady from BART was on hand to explain that this is a very generous offer and Reiskin believes this is what is best for The City. But at a time when we’re enforcing parking meters on Sundays, the supes weren’t buying it. They tabled the proposed contract and sent the parties back to negotiate.

Melissa Griffin’s column runs each Thursday and Sunday. She also appears Mondays in “Mornings with Melissa” at  6:45 a.m. on KPIX (Ch. 5). Email her at mgriffin@sfexaminer.com

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