In a state experiencing an unprecedented case of fiscal distress, a glimmer of hope in the form of minor transportation relief is in the cards for residents of California – at least those in the Bay Area. A budgetary windfall, courtesy of an unexpected largesse of state funding, has given BART some leeway in making some much needed improvements in its service. Just what those improvements might be is currently being debated by the agency’s board of directors.
Oddly, there is no information regarding this rather great news on Bart.gov under “news.”
There are some ideas being floated about, some more readily appreciable by BART’s ridership than others. A fare reduction has obvious appeal, but as one rider pointed out this would likely be temporary.
Due to the discretion allowed by BART’s leadership on fare rates (within reason, no doubt) and an uncertain financial future for the region and state, overlooking a fare reduction for something more enduring might make more sense.
This more long-term approach could mean cleaning up the BART trains, especially the interior, something of special concern to riders in BART’s 2008 Customer Satisfaction Study. Let us hope, if implemented, that BART moves on this plan faster than it has in years past.
Yet another option would be to offer four free commute days in 2011.
And finally, the least fun course of action: Save the funds for a rainy day. The list of possibilities goes on.
The BART board isn’t expected to make any decisions until their June 10 meeting, that doesn’t stop you from casting a (totally nonbinding) vote here.