BART’s higher fares will hurt riders and BART

Back in June, BART announced plans to increase fare 5.4 percent in January. BART directors also stated that they will increase fares based on inflation in 2022, 2024, and 2026 by 16 percent. 

As someone who takes BART nearly every weekend to San Francisco to visit my father, the news of the fares increasing was shocking to me. For workers and people of all different backgrounds taking BART, it will cost more to travel to our destinations.

Over the years, ridership has receded and BART has predicted that ridership will drop three percent in the next year.

There has been a proposal that the money produced from the fare increase will be used for issues regarding the quality of life, and also for an additional 19 police officers and four fare inspectors. Is BART’s plan for fare increase truly the best method while ridership is dropping? 

“We can’t keep increasing fares while watching ridership drop,” said director Liz Ames. 

While the BART directors acknowledge that ridership has been decreasing, they still continue to increase fares. 

Not only would this inflation affect everyone in the Bay Area, it would go towards projects BART has in for the future. 

This isn’t the only time BART has been hiking up the price on fares. In 2003, BART proposed an inflation-based fare program that increased fares every two years and renewed in 2013.  

BART also stated the fare money would help improve the BART stations and the cleanliness of them. But when have we ever seen BART make improvements and clean the stations in San Francisco, where most homelessness occurs? 

I truly do not think this is the best approach for the BART directors to achieve their goal. While some may think it is beneficial for the future of BART to increase fares for upcoming projects, I think it will not work. I believe the best method is to decrease the price of fares which will increase ridership and also help achieve the directors’ financial plan much quicker. 

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