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Starting Jan. 1, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) riders will pay, on average, an extra 19 cents in fares to help pay for new rail cars and other projects, the agency announced yesterday.In February, BART's board approved a continuation of its inflation-based fare increase program and dedicated the new revenue to replace and improve BART’s system. In addition to the new "Fleet of the Future" rail cars, the increased revenue will help fund a new train-control system to improve BART's reliability and to allow more trains to run more frequently, agency officials said in a press release. The revenue increase also will help fund an expansion and improvements to the Hayward Maintenance Complex that will serve the new fleet and support future service to California's Silicon Valley.The inflation-based fare increase program has been in place since 2003. The renewed program will mean fare increases at a rate below inflation in 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020, BART officials said. It will generate a total of $325 million to be applied toward programs. The first increase will be 5.2 percent, raising fares on average of 19 cents."BART is required to come up with a portion of funding for many of our capital projects in order to qualify to receive extra money from other sources," said Alicia Trost, a BART spokesperson. "BART must pay $800 million toward the cost of new rail cars — this fare increase will help us achieve that goal."
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