San Francisco’s BART train has seen a steady decline in public transit ridership to and from SFO in recent years. The reason? Passengers flocking to Uber and Lyft. That means overcrowded terminals with rideshare passengers either scrambling to find their vehicles or getting dropped off en masse from the city.
While New York City is raising the overall cost of public transit to the airport, San Francisco is taking a slightly different approach to try and stimulate revenue. BART’s Board of Directors has approved a plan to provide priority security screening to anyone who takes public transit to San Francisco International.
The first step is for BART to create an app with trip verification technology, basically to see if that passenger qualifies for priority security.
BART ridership to and from SFO has dropped about 10% in the past couple of years, which equates to about $4 million in lost revenue. The homeless are taking BART to SFO, however.
It will be interesting to see exactly what kind of priority security that BART and SFO will come up with. How will this compete with airline’s own priority lines for elites and premium cabin passengers? What about the line for both TSA PreCheck and for CLEAR?
There may come a point when almost everyone qualifies for priority security, which you know, would kind of make priority security a little bit useless.
Still, this move will perhaps move the needle slightly for BART. Critics think more has to be done — including better wayfinding at the airport, BART stops at every terminal (instead of just one), and eliminating the SFO BART fee.
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