Title

BAY AREA RAPID TRANSIT'S SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT STATION: ASSESSMENT OF TRANSIT PATRONAGE AND REVENUE FORECASTS

Authors

R West
P Herhold

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2004

Subject Area

infrastructure - station, ridership - forecasting, ridership - forecasting, economics - revenue, place - airport, mode - rail

Keywords

Scenarios, San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, San Francisco Bay Area, Ridership, Revenues, Rapid transit, Projections, Patronage (Transit ridership), International airports, Heavy rail transit, Forecasting

Abstract

This study examines patronage and revenue forecasts for the newly opened San Francisco International Airport (SFIA) Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station in California. As an outgrowth of a September 2002 analysis to determine whether a $1.50 premium surcharge at the SFIA station was sufficient to pay off revenue bonds, this study examines how a series of assumptions about BART services and fares have changed since publication of the final environmental report in 1996. Patronage and service projections are evaluated for three time periods: the 1996 final environmental document, the September 2002 analysis for the purpose of issuing revenue bonds, and an updated 2003 analysis leading up to the start of revenue service. These projections are compared with the first weeks of revenue service that began in June of this year. In general, the 1996 environmental analysis overstated projected ridership and service levels. However, based on updated analyses that took into account realistic service levels, fare increases, parking charges, and a downturn in the regional economy, the most recent projections of ridership are reasonably accurate, and projections of fare revenues are right on target. The study concludes that projected growth in patronage at the SFIA BART station may be quite reasonable, assuming a turnaround in the economy in the near future, and provides a benchmark for establishing more reasonable sets of assumptions to be used in analyzing future Bay Area rail improvement projects.