BART Considers Fare, Service Options as Riders Slowly Return in Pandemic Recovery

NBC Universal, Inc.

BART leaders on Thursday discussed a number of budget options for fiscal year 2022 as the transit system welcomes back more riders but continues to struggle during the pandemic recovery.

One option is a delay in a planned fare increase. As it stands, BART is targeting January for a 3.4% hike in fares. But that could be pushed back to July 2022.

On Wednesday, just under 59,000 people rode BART, still 86% below pre-COVID-19 levels.

Other options BART officials are considering are adding 26 trains to its weekday service; returning train service to every 15 minutes; and extending service until midnight as opposed to the current 9 p.m.

By June, officials say all BART trains will be equipped with upgraded air filters to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The agency will stop the daily fogging of train cars and focus more on traditional cleaning, including the elimination of litter and graffiti.

Despite the steep drop in ridership, BART has been able to stay afloat thanks in great part to $755 million in emergency funds from the federal government.

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