Last week, we reported that the Bay Area Rapid Transit System’s new line to Oakland International Airport is losing money due to competition from ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. But now there’s news that BART’s San Francisco International service is suffering the same problem.
According to the San Francisco Examiner, BART officials found that ridership on the overall BART network during October was down 1.7 percent compared to the same month a year ago; they also said that the airport line to SFO is performing 9.6 percent under budget.
Currently the BART fare from SFO to downtown San Francisco is $8.65 one-way and takes about 30 minutes. UberX or Lyft fares SFO to city run about $25-30.
And they made it clear that the slump in ridership is due to an explosion of rides on car-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. SFO airport rides by Uber vehicles increased from about 81,000 pick-ups and drop-offs in October 2014 to 469,823 in October 2016. For Lyft, the comparable numbers were 16,784 and 108,388 respectively. The ride-sharing services were authorized to serve the airport in 2014.
The newspaper said a BART official told it that Uber and Lyft have “changed the environment” for travel to and from the airport, with rail ridership leveling off in 2015 after being on a growth track.
BART’s board of directors have told the agency’s officials that rather than looking to cut service, they should try to find new ways to increase ridership. BART is said to be considering group discounts as one possibility.
According to the East Bay Times, figures from BART indicate that the Oakland Connector line is losing money and seeing its ridership decline – even though the airport’s passenger numbers are rising. Specifically, instead of meeting BART’s initial expectation of a $2 million profit on the Airport Connector during its first two years, the line has lost $860,000. And during the third quarter of this year, rider numbers fell 4.5 percent from the same period a year earlier.
What about you? How has your getting-to-the-airport routine changed since the emergence of ride sharing? Has this trend reached beyond the Bay Area? Please leave your comments below.
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