Playing With Politics

A Blog on Law, Politics, Planning, Development, and Other Vices

Update – BART: When Good Deeds Go Bad

Posted by Roobs on August 26, 2010

This is an update to my previous post: Bart: When Good Deeds Go Bad

Following the news of an $8.5 million windfall, BART has been trying to figure out how best to use it.  The board toyed with the notion of giving riders a temporary fare rollback as a reward for having to deal with them (a well earned reward).  However, after conducting their own survey, BART discovered that 4 out of 5 riders rejected the idea of a rollback, instead favoring longer service hours and/or cleaner cars.

At BART’s last meeting, instead of a fare rollback, they discussed the possibility of a temporary delay in a regularly schedueled fare increase, scheduled for January 2012.

In my previous post, I argue that a temporary delay in a fare increase was essentially the same as the rider-rejected temporary fare rollback.

I may be mistaken, but isn’t a six month delay of a fare increase very similar to a four  month temporary fare cut?  Sure, the percentages are different.  Last year, BART raised fares about 6%, twice as much as the proposed 3% temporary fare cut.  Six months at 6% savings will be a lot more total savings to the rider than 3% savings over four months.  But is this really what the public wanted?  In the end, is this not still a temporary fare cut that 75% of BART riders said they would rather not have in lieu of cleaner cars or better service?.

In an update, today the BART Board voted to delay the regularly scheduled fare increase for January 2012 for six months, essentially giving riders what they said they didn’t want.

The vote was 7-2, with only directors Gail Murray (Walnut Creek) and Tom Radulovich (San Francisco) voting no, favoring putting the money into BART’s reserve funds.

Again, BART seems to like to remind riders that, while they appreciate their input, it’s not up to them.  Guess we won’t see them clean/improve the Coliseum BART station anytime soon.

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