Terry in Hayward was wondering why I haven’t blogged about EZ Rider, BART‘s new smart card fare system it’s testing out on volunteers. I guess I was expecting a card to magically arrive (and perhaps one is materializing now), but Terry reminded me that I need to find how it’s really working.
When I arrived in the Bay Area, it took me not quite 10 minutes to sign up for FasTrak to pay the tolls that I blessedly avoid most days. It was truly “EZ” and now I carry around the transponder in my backpack in case I have to carshare.
I know it’s just a pilot, but didn’t it occur to BART to offer Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Wednesday, November 1st, 2006
Under: BART, Fare systems, tolls | 18 Comments »
Ok, I admit it. I should have never written about flat BART fares. There are more important issues we can pull out our hair over, like what to do with all of that Proposition 1B money. The State Senate hearing on the $19.9 billion bond measure on the November ballot starts at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the BART Board Room in Oakland’s Kaiser Center, 344 20th Street.
But to finally lay the flat fare idea to rest, I’ll put up yet another argument against it, this one by Roy Nakadegawa, director emeritus of BART. As you read this and Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Tuesday, September 26th, 2006
Under: BART, Fare systems, Funding | 20 Comments »
I really never thought that a story about one BART director’s idea to switch to a flat fare of perhaps $2.40 or $2.50 would generate so much interest, or end up at the top of the Trib’s Sunday front page. But what do I know?
Now the PhD’s are weighing in.
Aaron Golub, a researcher at the UC Berkeley California Transportation Center, sent me a copy of the open letter to the BART board he penned after hearing the flat-fare idea trumpeted on the radio Sunday.
I won’t reproduce the whole thing here, but he makes some interesting observations, such as how subsidizing longer-distance fares helped get more people to move to the suburbs a century ago in Boston and New York.
Ahh, let’s imagine a time Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Tuesday, September 19th, 2006
Under: BART, Buses, Fare systems, Funding, transit equity, Transit vs. driving | 14 Comments »
Photo by Richard Brome from www.nycsubway.org
My story about the idea of flattening BART fares provoked a thoughtful response from transplanted New Yorker Meg, who e-mailed these observations regarding BART board member Joel Keller’s reference to New York City as an example of flat-fare mass transit:
As a Bay Area resident who has lived in New York, I can tell you that there are a few factors which make the flat fare workable there. BART administrators ought to consider some of these when making their decisions.
1. Very few people in New York have cars. So most of them don’t have the option to drive. In the Bay Area, by contrast, many if not most people have access to cars, and therefore have an alternative to BART. People grumble about a subway fare increase in New York, but ultimately they more or less have to pay it.
2. In New York, most people who use the subway regularly get a weekly or monthly pass, where you pay a fixed amount and then get unlimited rides during that time period. For example, right now a 30-day pass costs $76. So if you ride more than 38 times a month (17 round-trips), you save money. Commuters – and, in fact, most people who rely on public transit – easily make that many trips a month.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Monday, September 18th, 2006
Under: AC Transit, BART, Buses, Fare systems, Transit vs. driving | 8 Comments »
I’m told that today this blog will be linked to the outside world after a two-week trial, so welcome, inaugural readers.
The point: to provide an outlet for Bay Area transportation stuff that crosses my path, but isn’t necessarily “a story” in the traditional sense. I’ll also drop in comments from readers and ad-lib from time-to-time about my own commuting tribulations.
In an area with such diverse ways to move around as the Bay Area, this kind of stuff is ridiculously easy to come by. In my short time here, I’ve found there is no limit to my fellow commuters’ appetite for transportation news.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006
Under: 511, BART, Bay Bridge, Buses, Carpooling, casual carpools, Fare systems, Freeways, Retrofitting | No Comments »