Letters from our Readers: BART’s fare reduction just wastes surplus

With all the problems facing BART, freezing BART fares for six months to save each commuter $13 is meaningless. Here are some better uses for the surplus: Replacing the cloth seats with plastic or vinyl would be cleaner and cost less to maintain. During this bedbug resurgence, cloth seating provides the pests with free rides throughout the Bay Area.

BART only runs until midnight, on both weekdays and weekends. The last train on Fridays and Saturdays is always packed. Extending weekend service just one hour later would make many BART riders much happier than a paltry fare modification.
Increase the frequency of service. Rising bridge tolls have increased BART ridership substantially. Running trains more frequently during commuting hours would alleviate the overcrowding.

Madeline Barker, Berkeley

Truth about health care

Contrary to Sheriff Michael Hennessey’s contention, if Prop. B passes, employees with one dependent will still have the option of health care coverage for less than $220 a month — almost $100 under the national average for employees in the private sector.

City officials opposed to Prop. B confuse the issue by citing heart-rending scenarios about devastated low-income earners when, in reality, 55 percent of The City’s health care expenditures in 2010 went to retirees who keep their 100 percent subsidized health care for life.

Cole Mitguard, San Francisco

Peninsula cities shafted

The High-Speed Rail Authority appears to be bending over backward to help big dogs San Francisco and San Jose while taking advantage of small Peninsula cities. Specifically, the authority is paying $2.3 billion to completely bury and “tunnel” its fast and loud 150-mph trains throughout San Francisco, and paying even more to “deep bore tunnel” all their tracks from Santa Clara to San Jose.

But for small, tightly compacted cities like Burlingame, San Mateo, Belmont, Redwood City, etc. — where lower-income minority families with children will be disproportionately evicted from their homes by eminent domain — the authority says it can’t “afford” tunnels. So, the Peninsula cities must tax themselves $5 billion to $6 billion to pay for it? What about “tunnel equality”?

Mike Brown, Burlingame

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