Dec 30 2017

New Bart Fares Begin New Year’s Day 2018

New Fares and Fewer Seats for 2018

BART raises fares every other year, tracking inflation to provide predictability, with the next increase arriving Monday, January 1, 2018.  Who should pay more and how much more was discussed at a number of BART Board meetings over past months.

$2 is the 2.7% inflation based fare that becomes the new minimum on January 1, 2018.  18% of all BART trips are minimum fare trips. Examples of minimum fare trips: Concord to Orinda, Ashby to Bay Fair, El Cerrito Norte to Downtown Berkeley, Hayward to Union City, Daly City to Civic Center, Embarcadero to Powell, Fruitvale to Coliseum, etc.

Teens Will Pay Less

Beginning January 1, 2018, riders aged 13-18  will get the Youth discount of 50%, which has previously applied to ages 5-12. Children 4 and under always ride free.

Seniors, Disabled, and Children 5 – 12 Will Pay 3.4% More

Several board members noted that increasing the senior fare by 33% as originally proposed was counterproductive to the goal of combating reduced ridership.  As a result the fare increase for this group of riders was held to only 3.4%.

Only 4.5% of BART trips are taken by seniors who represent 12.3% of BART regional population, they offer the most fruitful demographic potential to fill empty off-peak BART seats, a priority goal. Moreover, seniors are a growing proportion of the population, having increased by 10% between the 2000 and 2010 census. Several board members noted that increasing the senior fare by 33% as originally proposed was counterproductive to the goal of combating reduced ridership.

Adult Riders will pay 2.6% More

For example, in 2018 a Piedmont adult taking BART round trip from Rockridge station to Powell station will pay $7.90 instead of the 2017 fare of $7.70, considerably less than the cost of parking and bridge toll.

Penalty Surcharge to use Paper Ticket instead of a Clipper card

To encourage customers to use Clipper cards for fare payment 50 cents will be added to the fare for each ride using BART blue paper tickets.  Seniors and people with disabilities will pay an extra 19 cents per ride if they use green or red paper tickets instead of Clipper cards. Youth will pay a 25 cent surcharge.

To Avoid the Penalty, get a Clipper card

BART will have at least 100 machines that sell Adult Clipper cards for a one-time $3.00 fee.  The permanent card can be loaded with money via cash or credit card.  Adult Clipper cards purchased online with Autoload payments linked to a credit card avoid the $3 fee.

How to get a Clipper Card.

Easing the Commuter Crush

New cars are oriented to commuters, not off-peak riders.  To accommodate more standing passengers during morning and evening rush hours, BART embarked on a program to remove one third of the seats.  BART off-peak ridership began declining in 2015, but commuter traffic remained strong, often at or above capacity.  To be financially healthy, BART needs to fill more seats off-peak.


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