BART riders face New Year fare bump

BART fares are on the rise starting Jan. 1, 2014, set to climb by an average of 19 cents.

BART board members voted in February to continue its inflation-based fare program, meaning a 5.2 percent increase will hit riders’ wallets starting next year.

Revenue from the fare increase will help support BART’s “Fleet of The Future” trains and improvement projects including a new train control system to improve reliability. Funds will also go toward the Hayward Maintenance Complex to support the new fleet and future service to Silicon Valley.

The renewal of the inflation-based program means adjusted small fare increases over time instead of larger increases with little notice, said the transit agency.

Fares are scheduled to increase every two years, so expect to see fares to go up in 2016, 2018, and 2020. BART said it will generate a total of $325 million to improve its aging system.

BART spokesman Alicia Trost said in a statement that the transit agency must pay $800 million for new rail cars, and that the fare increase will offset some of those costs:

“We understand no one wants to pay higher fares but riders should know this money can only be spent on these identified projects which will benefit passengers.”