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Monday, July 19, 2010

BART Riders Not Thrilled With Bogus Fare Reduction

Posted By on Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 3:15 PM

BART riders: Cleanliness is next to Godliness - WILL HARPER
  • Will Harper
  • BART riders: Cleanliness is next to Godliness
Those embittered with the state of society invariably mutter that, in a democracy, the people always get the government they deserve. But if that's the case -- and it is -- then BART riders deserve both credit, and excellent transportation.

We've written before about how the BART board's idea of minuscule, temporary fare reductions was nothing more than transparent political pandering by candidates seeking re-election or election to higher office. Yet, despite the crude simplicity of, literally, buying off the electorate, BART's ridership has spoken. And they'd rather avoid sitting in filth than be gifted a few dimes a week for a couple of months.

The transportation agency has released a rider poll regarding what it should do with $4.5 million in surpluses. And only around a third of riders approved of the temporary fee rollback. More popular were the notions of cleaning the trains, replacing the seats -- BART spokesman Jim Allison told SF Weekly that while this is supposed to happen every two or three years, some of those seats are 10 years old -- or extending service hours.

click to enlarge Of course, some days you don't worry about how clean the BART seats are... - WILL HARPER
  • Will Harper
  • Of course, some days you don't worry about how clean the BART seats are...
The public's rebuking of a buy-off likely comes as no surprise to Tom Radulovich, BART's San Francisco-area board member. Last month he told us that the rollback "is just pandering to the public -- but the public is too smart for it." His idea for the surplus: Apply it toward BART's multi-billion dollar operating shortfall predicted for the coming decades and/or replenish the system's reserves.

BART's board meets on July 22 to decide how to apply that $4.5 million. It remains to be seen whether a rollback is going to happen --whether you like it or not.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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