In some not so surprising news, ever since Uber and Lyft have been given free rein to pick up and drop off passengers at SFO, ridership on BART's SFO line has been steadily on the decline. And this is just another example of how the private sector has been causing disinvestment in our public transit in recent years.
As the Examiner reports, Uber and Lyft use increased six-fold for airport trips between 2014, when they were first officially allowed to make trips to and pickups from the airport, and 2016. In October 2016, Lyft reportedly made 108,388 trips to or from SFO, compared to just 16,800 trips in October 2014; and Uber made 469,823 SFO trips, compared to 81,000 the same month two years ago.
Taxi service, meanwhile, has also been hit, but they're still doing OK, with 139,465 trips from the airport in October 2016, and presumably just as many drop-offs, or close to it.
This is taking a big chunk of revenue out of BART's pocket as more people are opting to take the rideshare route rather than bother with all those BART stops, and this year BART's SFO route was 9.6 percent under its projected budget, compared to overall BART ridership which was 1.7 percent under budget over last year.
And let's be honest: When you fly in from a cross-country trip and land at 11:30, are you going to stress about catching that last BART train and then sit sleepily, jet-lagged on that train for a half hour back into the city to save a few bucks, or are you just going to call an Uber?
This doesn't mean BART will be changing anything with regard to its airport train service, necessarily, but maybe they'll be cutting down that fare price a bit or trying something else to attract riders? "The solution is not cuts or draconian measures, it’s to grow ridership," as BART board member Robert Raburn told the Ex. "We have to be more nimble."
How about an express BART from SFO that doesn't make all those stops in Colma and stuff?
Just a thought.
Previously: Uber, Lyft, And Sidecar All Now Legal At SFO