BART announces biennial fare increase to go in effect in 3 weeks

BART riders are bracing to pay more to get from point A to point B. This, as the transit agency announced its regular, biennial fare increase will go into effect in three weeks.

BART officials said the added revenue from fare increases every two years helps pay for what they call the big three expenses: Modernization of the system; 306 new cars; and a new maintenance complex.

"This is not a surprise. this was mentioned in the beginning of our budget process back in march of 2017. This is something that's been in the works for quite a while," said BART spokesman Jim Allison. 

He says the 2.7% increase set to take effect January 1st keeps pace with inflation. Predictably, some riders are irritated at another hit to their bottom line..

"Our income is not increasing that much. and every day we have to pay that so more, and means more out of our daily budget," said BART rider Anjali Garg.

Officials say the minimum fare will increase to  two-dollars for adults, one-dollar for children, and 75-cents for disabled riders. A second increase comes in the form of a 50-cent surcharge for using paper tickets instead of Clipper Cards.. It's a monetary incentive to encourage latching on to technology that could one day be used across multiple platforms..

"This could be something that basically agitates people even more. where they say, well everything is going up, and bart is going up too," said BART rider Pallavi Naliyanda. 

San Jose State urban and regional planning expert doctor Asha Agrawal says BART is on the same track as other transit agencies..

"The problem is we don't have a very good system of funding transit," she said.

Globally, government subsidies cover a portion of their costs, but ridership pays most of the freight. The only way to maintain, improve, and expand a system is to raise fares -- or, wait and pay more in the long run.

"I like to think about it for our own house. if we hadn't repaired the roof in many, many, many, years, it's expensive when you have to do that full replacement," said professor Agrawal. 

For the foreseeable future, BART riders can budget for paying more to ride, every two years..

"It's tough. it's tough. there's gonna be a lot of angry folks," said BART rider Carl Beamon.

The increases take effect January 1st, and that's also the deadline to start using a Clipper Card, or pay an additional 50 cents on top of the biennial increase.