BART officials will discuss a plan today to increase fares regularly through 2020 and make parking more expensive at station lots.
Since 2003, the regional rail operator has used an inflation-based formula to increase its transit fares every two years. The last scheduled fare increase was in 2012, but the agency wants to extend the program, with rate hikes proposed for 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020.
Along with maintaining its fare plan, the agency has recommended hiking parking rates to more accurately reflect demand. Parking costs $1 a day at most of BART’s 32 station lots. Under a new proposal, daily rates could increase by 50 cents twice a year where demand is particularly high. For now, the prices would be capped at $3 a day, except at the West Oakland station, where it currently costs $5 a day to park.
The agency is pushing both plans to deal with its massive long-term budget shortfall. Faced with an aging railway infrastructure and a pressing demand to increase its system capacity, BART must find $750 million a year just to meet its core needs. By implementing the parking and fare increases, the agency would secure about $700 million over the next 12 years.
BART will hold a public hearing at its board of directors meeting in Oakland at 9 a.m. today. The agency will vote on whether to approve the measures at a later board meeting.