By Kathy Chouteau
BART will increase fares by 5.5 percent but will also deepen the discount for qualifying low-income riders starting Jan. 1.
BART will raise the average fare by 23 cents to $4.43. For example, a 12-mile trip from downtown Berkeley to Embarcadero will increase by 25 cents to $4.75, the transit agency said. BART’s Clipper START means-based fare discount will increase from 20 percent to 50 percent, translating to low-income riders paying half their regular fare.
As part of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s (MTC) pilot program, Bay Area residents aged 19-64 earning under 200 percent of the federal poverty level receive discounts. More than 20 regional transit operators beyond BART accept Clipper START.
BART’s Board of Directors approved the fare increase during the June 8 budget vote. BART’s 2003-onward Inflation-Based Fare Increase Program typically would have brought about an 11 percent fare increase in January 2024. However, its board directed staff to instead raise fares 5.5 percent in January 2024 and January 2025 to soften the economic impact on riders.