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BART Ridership Down, Agency Looks for Help

BART ridership continues to plummet, and it looks like the transit agency might need some financial help from the state. Officials at the Bay Area Rapid Transit system said yesterday that BART lost another 14,000 daily riders in April, May and June compared to the same period last year.

The system has been losing riders for more than two years. BART blames the economy, lost jobs in the area and the resulting lighter traffic load on freeways.

Director Joel Keller of Antioch said yesterday he thinks BART should immediately ask for state aid. He says the system can´t consider layoffs or raising fares next year.

In a bid to hook more passengers, BART is planning a new marketing plan. Among the features are incentives such as free rides for new riders, a reward plan for frequent riders and a beefed-up web site.