Bay City News

BART Increases Fares, Cracks Down on Evaders in New Year

Fares are going up for BART riders in the new year, with everyone paying 2.7 percent more than in 2017, and those trying to pay nothing to ride the train are in for some steep penalties, according to the transit agency.

The minimum fare will rise to $2 for adults, $1 for youth between ages 5 and 18, and 75 cents for senior or disabled Clipper card users.

The agency also unveiled its new fare evasion policy Monday, as it tries to prevent millions in unpaid fares from walking out the door.

BART said fare inspectors will go car-by-car, passenger-by-passenger, checking tickets and doling out $75 fines to adults and $55 fines to minors.

Those are for first offenses.

Adult repeat evaders could get a criminal citation or a more damaging dent to their wallet. The maximum fine is $250.

Everyday rider Malik Thomas said he sees fare evaders quite often.

"Ticket values are going up, you know. Minimum wage is really low. And people are coming in from all over," Thomas said. "I come from Richmond, and I’m not the type of guy who always wants to pay $5 when I come here. But I do!"

Meanwhile, BART's youth discount is getting extended starting Monday for people up to 18 years old after previously being only for children between the ages of 5 and 12. Children 4 and under will remain free on BART.

To encourage the use of Clipper cards and cut down on fare gate maintenance cuts related to paper ticket jams, 50 cents are being added in the new year for each ride using BART's blue paper tickets.

BART staff will be handing out free Clipper cards at three East Bay stations in the upcoming days — at the West Oakland station from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, at the Dublin/Pleasanton station from 4-7 p.m. on Jan. 8, and at the Bay Fair station from 4-7 p.m. on Jan. 9.

People can go to to get a card, find in-person locations or find out how to get a discounted card for youth, seniors or disabled riders, BART said.

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