Does anyone know why UC Bart doesn't allow people to pay their parking later?

Here is my story... My hubby called me this morning and asked me to go pay the parking for his car since the machine he was inputting didn't work and he needed to catch the train. When I arrived to the Bart (10 mins after his call) and explained to the agent about my situation, she just pointed me to sign on the window that "this is the rule to not paying your parking ticket late"

I have no idea why this rule exists. The agent has already assumed me helping my hubby's parking ticket late. But even if people purposely paying late (which is not in my case), we still pay for the parking.

She told me to pay a $5 Bart ticket so to get into the gate, then paid the $1.5 for the parking ticket. When I got out, Bart would keep that $5 ticket. HOW RIDICULOUS!!!!!

I have no choice but to do that since I also have to go to work. I just don't understand what's the reason behind this rule?? Does anyone know?


Never mind the agent. Just walk through the swing gate, put the money in the parking machine, then walk back out.

Lol, I know someone that did that at a station and got cited for fare evasion ( in and out of the same station costs $5.25 whether or not you use the train). Also the emergency gates say that you must be let in with authorization so if you don't have authorization you get a ticket. And they still got the parking ticket. The signs in the parking lot clearly states that you must proceed directly into the paid area and pay for your parking. At Rockridge station I actually got a ticket once for parking then going and getting coffee across the street and then going to pay for parking it violate the rules. Agents are not allowed to just let someone in to pay for parking.

I know a lot of people on this board believe the agents are lazy, but there are a few agents that will follow the rules and have you cited. Some even take pride in doing their work. But that means you'll pay.

There is a fare of $5.25 listed on all fare charts to enter and exit the same station, whether or not you use the train. It is even listed in the blue brochure where it states whether or not you use the train.

It would only be fare in evasion if someone tried to get in and out of the station without paying that fair. Or entering the service gates where it says authorized use only violators a subject to citation . That is of course why they placed the machines inside the station and not outside. Except for pleasant hill and Millbrae (i believe). They can pay on the outside before entering, and you don't have to ride.

My friends girlfriend basically says when she cites people all she takes to court is a picture of the sign on the service gate . She stated that people cannot be in the paid area of the station without a ticket or authorization from an agent .

I do not see how you don't view this as fare evasion when there is a fare clearly listed to enter and exit a station and they are evading paying it. And whoops my husband forgot to pay is not a valid excuse to get into the station for free.

You may have a point, but the judges must see something different. Was told the fare evasion charge is upheld. And all that really matters is that the rules are followed. If you're not supposed to pay for someone else spot that forget, then you don't do it.

I think using a ticket to go in and out is a loophole people have figured out, as a ticket for "Non Patron Parking" usually required one of their parking people observing you parking paying and not riding. But I have heard people get that ticket sometimes.

Must be a good metermaid..

Best parking ladys I saw was at Lafayette, there were people trying to park in the after 10am areas. She would go out at 955 or so and take a picture of the lot so she could check to see who had a permit and who didn't.. Those of us with permits appreciate that so much.

The station agent was a douchebag. It seems like BART selectively enforces "rules" based on the person you talk to, or the situation.
They certainly don't enforce the rules about eating, sleeping, playing loud music, etc on the trains. But they want to be a hardass about something like this?? It would have been good customer service to just let you in to pay for the parking and would have promoted some good will toward BART employees in light of all the recent negativity in the press.

I think you are confusing a station agent with a police officer, the police are the ones that enforce the eating sleeping and playing loud music , not the station agents.

But for paying for parking and fare evasion they have a very specific set of rules to follow. If they do not follow those rules they are in fact, not doing what they're supposed to. I have reported an agent before because he did not charge some low life that did not have enough money to exit.

I'm not confusing anything. BART employees as a whole either enforce the rules or not. The machine wasn't working during the morning commute. Anyone that is trying to catch an overcrowded train during peak hours knows that any malfunction of the system causes a giant cluster-fuck. The station agent could have been more considerate under the circumstances.

What do you consider considerate? Almost sounds like what you consider consider it is allowing someone in without charging them $5.25? And since there is clearly a rule in place to charge them why would you only charge certain people, sounds like it would be favoritism.

And I bet they would not work very long if they gave away the store by not charging people the appropriate price . Maybe your boss does not care if you give products or services away for free but I know my job would care.

And BART employees have no ability to enforce rules. That is a police job since only the police can issue citations and arrest people for punishment of not following the rules.

It would be nice if the agents could arrest people, but it is a liability issue. Imagine if station agents could enforce the rules and could lock people up in the jail cells that many stations have in the back.

What would be nice is if BART maintained their equipment so there wouldn't have to be a situation like this. A broken parking pay station at commute times = clusterfuck. Do you not see that? I'm saying that this particular situation calls for a little common sense and decency by the station agent. How is this "giving away the store"? It seems punitive and petty and I really can't believe you would defend the actions of this station agent unless you are a BART employee or union shill.

I would agree it is wrong the machines weren't working (benefit of doubt to the customer on this one) BUUUUT (isn't there ALWAYS a but?;) Maybe "hubby" should pad his times a tad more so that a picky machine won't blow his chance to catch a train? You know , more than 2 mins to spare?

I would agree , customer service , above all ...but even IF He was smiling and pouring coffee(How we all wish right?) while explaining the rule , a rule is a rule.

I show up to work with 15-20 min to spare, Juuust in case some one decides to detonate some cows on a Highway I am using ...or some such;)

It should have been $5.25 to go in and out of the station plus $1.50 parking so you should've paid $6.75 . Which is really cheap compared to $15 to park in the garage at my work.

One little thing to make note of is that if the parking guy sees you do this you can still get a ticket for non-patron parking. Since according to BART rules you are not supposed to pay for another person's parking. So you will not get a ticket for not paying the fee but you will get a ticket for non-patron parking.

The parking guy that I just talked to basically said if you forget to pay for parking you are just out of luck . But many agents will tell you that 5.25 trick. Which is much better than a 25 or $35 fine.

I hope this helps.

No idea why you can't, but I've even heard that it's illegal at parking meters in some cities.

Years ago I remember an agent talking about catching a lady that rode BART and would pay for several spaces in the back row at walnut creek for the staff at a nearby fitness club.

Third Rail's picture

Masters is correct. The only work-around to the rule is to pay the $5.25 excursion fare to enter and pay for the parking. The Station Agents have rules they are required to follow. They don't make the rules, but they are charged with enforcement of the rules. Did you see the sign that says "Parking may not be paid by others at a later time"? If the Agent does not follow the rules, then they are held accountable.

Train Operator since 2003's picture

The answer to your question is simple. If a person could come and go just to pay for parking, the stall could be effectively a storage space. Imagine a caravan of gypsies setting up a homeless encampment. $30/month with a bathroom to bathe in. Screw any people actually trying to go somewhere.

My opinion is that parking fees should be higher so that you can at least find parking up until 9- 9:30 AM..

The other way to look at it is go back to free parking and it first come first serve and let the lots fill up at 6 or 7 AM and everybody else can just go find someplace else to park .

The problem with that though is the cost to maintain the parking lots falls on the riders instead of the people who park . And if you live near BART stations that do not have a parking lot your fares should not be used to maintain stations that do have parking lots out in the suburbs.

I have heard that Bart has more parking than any other transit agency in the nation . Bart should be transportation, not a provider of parking . Selloff the parking lots and let a for-profit company run them for a much higher price .

TreoBART's picture

They are raising parking rates based in lot fill times right now, so you got your wish.