With a $25 million deficit in its operating budget, BART is considering raising the cost of trips through the transbay tube by 10 cents to help fill the gap. It has received $19 million in stimulus money, but that leaves $6 million to be saved by cutting operation and labor costs.
The current surcharge for a trip under the bay is 89 cents. The 10 cent increase would generate about $4.7 million annually, according to General Manager Dorothy Dugger.
The idea surfaced along with a discussion to eliminate 74 largely vacant positions, which could translate to 19 layoffs in June. However, the cuts would negatively affect the quality of service: dirtier cars and stations, and longer wait times for escalator, elevator and ticket machine repairs.
Tom Blalock, one of BART’s directors, argues it would make sense to increase BART’s transbay tariff simultaneously with the Bay Bridge toll increases set for July 1.
What do you think? Should BART raise the transbay surcharge, or are tickets already too expensive?