Headline: BART eyes higher fares, reduced service.
This is very, very dumb. Higher fares will reduce ridership at exactly the time BART is weaning people off of their addiction to driving. That’s bad policy, and it’s bad for BART revenue.
While shifting from trains every 15 minutes to a 20 minute gap on weeknights and Sundays isn’t awful, it also raises the barrier to easy mass transit, reducing the chance that people will leave their cars at home. And getting people to give up their cars is good public policy. It keeps the air clean, reducing asthma and other respiratory illnesses. It slows global warming. It reduces traffic. It saves wear and tear on streets. It lowers gas prices for everyone, including truckers, which keeps the prices of goods at the store lower.
That said, I’d be OK with running the trains at 20 minute gaps in off hours if they’d run the trains later. Stopping them at 12:30ish is just dumb. I’d like to see the trains run through the night, so that people who go partying in San Francisco don’t feel like they have to drive (drunk) back to their homes across the Bay, or hire expensive taxis when a perfectly good train is sitting idle all night. I don’t need frequent trains all night, but 1 train per hour surely wouldn’t break the bank, and ought to leave time for maintenance.
That’d keep drunks off the road, encourage people to go out and spend money, and remind them that mass transit is safe and reliable. Cutting it off at midnight makes the system seem unreliable.