Dropping fare increase program would increase BART’s long-term debt by $500 million 

click to enlarge If BART shelves a fare increase program based on the Consumer Price Index, its long-term budget deficit would increase by another $500 million. (Examiner file photo) - IF BART SHELVES A FARE INCREASE PROGRAM BASED ON THE CONSUMER PRICE INDEX, ITS LONG-TERM BUDGET DEFICIT WOULD INCREASE BY ANOTHER $500 MILLION. (EXAMINER FILE PHOTO)
  • If BART shelves a fare increase program based on the Consumer Price Index, its long-term budget deficit would increase by another $500 million. (Examiner file photo)
  • If BART shelves a fare increase program based on the Consumer Price Index, its long-term budget deficit would increase by another $500 million. (Examiner file photo)

BART’s long-term budget outlook is already pretty bleak, but if the agency drops its biennial fare increase program, the picture will get even worse.

In 2003, the BART board approved a program to hike fare costs every two years based on Consumer Price Index rates. Under the approved program, the CPI increases would expire in 2012.

Currently, the agency is looking at a $7.5 billion capital shortfall (which details long-term infrastructure projects). If the CPI fare increase program is shelved, another $500 million will be added to that deficit, leaving BART in an $8 billion hole over the next 25 years.



The agency is in good shape with its operating budget, which covers day-to-day costs, and it even socked away some surplus money for its capital plans, but with major expansion plans in the works, that long-term shortfall could grow even more.

On Thursday, BART’s board of directors will discuss the long-term financial outlook of the agency.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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Will Reisman

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