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No fare hike for BART, but AC Transit eyes increase

By dcuff
Thursday, March 10th, 2011 at 5:46 pm in AC Transit, BART, Buses, Fare systems.

BART won’t need a train fare increase this year, but AC Transit will hold a public hearing 4 p.m. April 27 on a plan to raise its basic bus are from $2 to $2.10, and boost the youth pass from $15 to $20 per month. That was the upshot of news from the two transit agencies in the last 24 hours  BART managers proposed no fare increase or service cuts during a briefing this morning about financial priorities for the next budget. It also appears there will be enough money to hire more temporary car cleaners to spruce up car interiors and clean those dirty fabric seats that riders complain about, managers said.

The word from top managers is consistent with a BART board vote last year to postpone the next inflation-related fare increase from Jan. 1, 2012 to July 1 , 2012. 

Meanwhile,  the AC Transit board agreed Wedneday night to move a fare increase proposal to a public hearing from 4 to 6 p.m. April 27 at the district headquarters, 1600 Franklin St., Oakland. The increase would go into effect in August. 

The most controversial element of the increase is raising the youth pass from $15 to $20 per month in August,  the first of several increases expected over several years. Click here to read the AC Transit staff report on the fare increase.

While several speakers opposed the proposed increasing the price of the youth pass, AC Transit staffers said that the bus system is losing $4 million a year with the pass at the current level instead of being set at a district goal of 36 times the current daily youth fare of $1.

“This means that those lost funds are not available to be used to provide service for youth and others,” AC Transit managers wrote in a memo.  

In a related action, the board adopted a set of goals for determining fares  - including equity, transparency and simplicity.

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