BART to install proof of payment system starting Jan. 1

Police operation at El Cerrito BART stations net 52 fare evasion citations

Starting Jan. 1, BART riders who fail to show proof of payment — such as a valid ticket or Clipper card — within paid areas of the transit system will face fines of $75 for adults and $55 for minors.

The transit agency’s new proof of payment system was adopted in two ordinances this week by the BART Board of Directors.

Adults who receive two or more civil citations for fare evasion within 12 months may end up with a criminal citation, which packs a fine of up to $250. Juveniles will only receive civil citations for proof of payment infractions.

All minors, along with adults whose household income is at or below 250-percent of the federal poverty guideline, will be eligible to perform community service in lieu of paying the fine, according to the transit agency.

Fare evasion has long been an issue on the system, which receives $74.4-percent of its $578.8 million operating revenue from ticket sales.

“BART conservatively estimates that fare evaders cheat the system out of $15 million to $25 million every year,” the transit agency said. “The Board actions are part of an overall fare evasion control strategy that includes fortifying the system against fare evaders, increased enforcement and technological improvements.”