BART set to cut SFO employees a break

BART is trying to bust open its doors to people everywhere, specifically SFO-based workers.

Workers who have to commute to the airport everyday may soon find a little extra cash in their pockets. In 2009, BART increased their airport surcharge fee from $1.50 to $4.00 in order to chip away at a burgeoning $54 million budget deficit.

After 10 months of complaints from the airport and its employees, BART decided to eliminate the increased surcharge for employees and return it to the original $1.50 surcharge. Now BART is close to giving SFO-based workers an even bigger break by eliminating the surcharge altogether.

Assuming there were roughly 112,733 BART trips taken by SFO-based workers last fiscal year, the plan would require SFO to reimburse BART $169,100 in order to have the fee waived for workers.

Additionally, if BART ridership decreases once the new fare is set up, the airport will reimburse BART an extra $1.50 for every trip below 112,733. However, using the same formula, if ridership increases, BART will reduce the reimbursement costs from SFO.

BART and airport officials hope the new fare structure will lead to more employees taking public transportation to work and reduce congestion around the area.

Currently a round-trip fare from the Civic Center BART station to SFO costs workers $11.50. Under the new fare structure it would only cost them $8.50. The same trip requires regular riders to fork over a whopping $16.50.

If the proposal is approved by BART’s board of directors on Thursday, the agreement would last for nine years.