Parking citations at BART parking facilities will rise following a Thursday vote by the agency’s Board of Directors.
The citations were too low, BART staffers said at the board meeting. That encouraged non-paying parkers to regularly displace permit-paying parkers at BART stations, the agency said, because it was so cheap to do so.
“It may be less expensive to pay parking citations” than to pay a bridge toll and city parking fees, said Bob Franklin, customer access and accessibility department manager at BART.
BART has 33 parking facilities at 45 of its stations, according to a board agenda document. Fees for a single-day parking permit range mostly from $3 to $6, but reach as much as $11 at the West Oakland BART station.
BART enforcement staff issued 61,410 parking citations in 2014 and 98,695 in 2015. Half were issued for permit related violations, 41 percent for failure to validate their parking in a daily fee space, and 9 percent for other violations, according to BART.
Of those violations, 87 percent were paid, with a dismissal rate of 13 percent.
Citations against parking in a permit zone, violating posted signs, and red zone violations will rise from $40 to $75. Those citations will rise to $100 if a parker already has more than five parking citations for the same violation that calendar year.
The increase in parking citation fees would not affect disabled parking, according to BART, because those are governed by California Vehicle Code.
Violators may have been emboldened in the past by low citation fees, Franklin said, adding “They’re willing to pay for it every day.”
One violator in an Orinda BART parking facility was fined for parking without a permit 29 days, Franklin said.
One BART board director, Rebecca Saltzman, expressed concern the paper system BART officers now use to enforce parking may lead to errors in enforcement.
“Right now the system we have to enforce [parking] is not so great,” she told Franklin.
A new electronic system for parking citation enforcement is just a few months away, though, and Saltzman proposed waiting for it to be in place before daily citations are increased. This motion was seconded and approved.
Other violation fees will increase in 30 days, according to Alicia Trost, a BART spokeswoman.