A lot of the BART stations in the East Bay fill up fast in the morning. Often people in a rush will decide to run the risk - get a ticket and park illegally.
Starting today, the fines will go up. If you park illegally at a BART station the fine will jump from $25 to $40 dollars. BART says last year, 66,000 people got citations for parking illegally. The increase in penalties is a move BART says is to try to discourage commuters from parking illegally and also taking someone else's pre paid parking spot. BART says this is not about generating revenue, but instead they hope to issue fewer citations in the long run.
"They're expecting to have a spot, only to find a parking poacher take it. We are trying to chase the poachers away. It's just not fair to those folks who are paying good money to guarantee themselves a parking spot only to find that someone else has taken it up," said Linton Johnson, BART spokesman.
Parking citations go up from $25 to $40 at BART stations today. Also, if you're caught eating or drinking past the fare gates, that could cost a $250 dollar ticket. BART says even though they're writing tickets for eating or drinking, they'll start to open up food and beverage kiosks just outside the fare gates for passengers.