BART’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget uses operating dollars to fund important capital projects for the future, including the next generation of rail cars. The BART Board of Directors voted today, eight to one, to adopt the budget, which will go into effect July 1, 2012.
BART will use a total of $45 million in operating funds toward the $3.2 billion new rail car project, an additional $2.4 million to pay for new seats and new floors in existing rail cars and about $600,000 to pay for an extra hour of train service on the Daly City to Richmond line (trains currently stop running on the line at 7 pm; this proposal would fund train service until 8 pm).
The budget also includes $1 million in material costs for the escalator/elevator maintenance division, which has brought in outside contractor assistance in recent weeks to tackle an unusually high number of escalator outages. Under the FY12 operating budget, eight new positions were added to the existing team of 41 BART staffers in the escalator/elevator division.
1.4% Fare Increase Contributes to Financial Health
The budget includes a 1.4% fare increase beginning July 1. The fare increase is expected to generate $4.8 million, contributing to BART’s overall financial health. This fare increase will be the last in the current program to raise fares on a regular basis according to the rate of inflation minus one-half percent.
Many riders, including those who pay the minimum fare of $1.75, will see no increase in fares thanks to BART’s method of rounding to the nearest nickel. The maximum additional amount passengers will pay July 1 is 15 cents. This will be the first time BART has raised fares since July 1, 2009.
Increased Ridership Helps the Bottom Line
BART’s $672.1 million operating budget is benefiting from ridership that is projected to increase by 3% in FY13 to an average weekday ridership of 376,000 for the year, which would be an all-time high. Fare-paying customers account for 78% of the operating funds in the FY13 budget. The second largest source of operating revenue, dedicated money from sales taxes, is expected to increase by 5%.
In the current fiscal year, BART is experiencing increased revenues. BART staff has proposed using $15M in additional revenues in FY12 to fund critical capital needs, including $7.5 million to waterproof and modernize Powell St. Station, $2.3 million to upgrade heating, ventilation and air conditioning on 110 rail cars, another $2 million for power and propulsion work on rail cars and the remaining funds would be used for initiatives ranging from computer servers to pigeon abatement.