The rollout of BART’s fare evasion clampdown has been hampered by delays, equipment malfunctions, and staffing issues. But the transit system swears they’re not fooling around anymore, and that effective today — March 2, 2018 — that they are definitely, totally, for sure going to start handing out those fines of up to $120 for riders without a ticket.
The Bay Area News Group reports that the warnings are over and the tickets start getting issued today. While the new BART fare evasion laws went into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, the month of January was intended to be a ‘warning only’ period. But by the time Feb. 1 rolled around, BART discovered that the officers’ ticket-reading machines were unable to, you know, read tickets.
“They would need to be swiped multiple times,” BART spokesperson Alicia Trost told the Bay Area News Group. “So, we were working to get their performance to an acceptable level.”
The ticket-checking readers are apparently now working, so here is the deal: there are six fare evasion officers cruising the system daily. If you get busted without a valid ticket, your fine could be as high as $120. Or it could be lowered to $75 or just a warning if you’re a first-time offender.
A second citation within a 12-month period could cost you a fine of up to $250, though you could substitute community service.
BART had announced in November that the Muni-style fare evasion officers would be prowling stations and trains, claiming the system loses $15 to $25 million to riders not paying. While the officers weren’t deployed on Jan. 1 as planned, the new fare increase and paper ticket surcharge did go into effect that day.