BART needs to close a $25-$35 million shortfall in its operating budget. The media blames the deficit on overpaid janitors, while staff is proposing a menu of fare increases:
The board held onto the possibility of putting a surcharge on rides taken using paper fare cards and reducing BART’s discount rates for youths, seniors and disabled people. The directors did not vote on fare increases, which they say are needed to help fill a projected $25 million to $35 million budget gap, but they discussed which fare proposals should undergo a mandated federal civil rights study so that they can be considered when the board assembles a spending plan.
There is one very easy solution to this problem: raise the cost of parking. BART has 45,984 parking spaces. Increasing the daily parking charge by $2.25 ($45 monthly) is sufficient to cover $25 million. Increasing the daily parking charge by $3.15 ($63 monthly) would raise $35 million. Those adjustments would make BART parking charges comparable to current market rates.
BART parking lots fill up at the crack of dawn, and the monthly reserved slots have years-long waiting lists. The Warm Springs station already has a waiting list and it isn’t even open yet. Because BART is giving away parking at below-market cost, there is no parking availability (except for a lucky few). So even if there weren’t a deficit, the parking fees need to be raised regardless.