OAKLAND -- BART will look at expanding to teenagers its youth fare discount, a move that would put the train system more in line with how other transit agencies charge young people.
Today, only youngsters 12 and under qualify for BART's substantial 62½ percent discount, while AC Transit and other agencies extend the perk through age 17. Preliminary staff estimates show that adding youths ages 13 to 17 would cost the district between $2.3 million and $4.6 million a year, depending on how many teens take advantage of it.
The agency will also examine whether riders who transfer to or from other agencies should collect a higher discount; it is 25 cents today.
But the nine-member elected BART board on Thursday rejected further analysis of other changes, such as a hike in the base fare from $1.85 to $2 or boosting the senior discount from 62½ percent to 75 percent.
"Earlier in the year, I supported looking at a base fare increase," said BART board Vice President Joel Keller of Antioch. "But I agree that it should be withdrawn. The last thing we want to have is a fare increase on top of everything else that is going on."
Keller referred to the agency's stalemate with its two largest employee unions, which filed an unfair labor practices lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court on Tuesday. The unions ratified a contract last month, but the BART board has refused to sign it unless the unions take out a disputed family leave clause the agency says was mistakenly included.
A teen fare reduction proposal could come back to the BART board for a vote as early as next summer, staff said.
Contact Lisa Vorderbrueggen at 925-945-4773. Follow her at Twitter.com/lvorderbrueggen.