Weekend discounts eyed for BART 

click to enlarge A BART director says even if fares are discounted 50 percent on weekends, the transit system will make money because more people will ride trains. - SF EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • SF Examiner file photo
  • A BART director says even if fares are discounted 50 percent on weekends, the transit system will make money because more people will ride trains.

Taking the train on weekends could soon be cheaper for BART passengers.

Director Bob Franklin wants BART to look into charging off-peak rates Saturdays and Sundays to attract more passengers.

Franklin said the prices could be 50 percent off and the agency would still make money. He noted that past promotions resulted in net revenue gains since so many people opted to take the train.

“During the weekend, people are traveling in groups,” Franklin said. “It normally makes sense to drive, but if we’re offering discounted rates, we could see a whole new group of customers take BART instead of their cars.”

Most BART lines are running at capacity during commute times, but Franklin said trains are empty on weekends.

Franklin said BART staff seem receptive to the discounted-rates proposal. The board of directors will spend the next several months discussing BART’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year, and the discounted-rates proposal will be part of those talks.

Another service change being explored is the restoration of 15-minute headways on weekends. The agency pared back its schedule in 2009 to save money.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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Will Reisman

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Wednesday, Aug 24, 2016

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