BART Tickets Can Be Cheap

November 5, 2008

For the 365,000 people that use BART every weekday to work (and to travel through the Bay Area), BART tickets need to be bought.  For a trip from Hayward to San Francisco, you’re looking at a fare of $4.30 each way and it costs even more if a longer distance is traveled.  Buying a BART ticket is a necessity for BART travelers just like gas is a necessity for people who want to drive their car or motorcycle.  The trick I’ve found lately is that even though it’s something that everyone needs, everyone doesn’t need to pay full price.  Matter of fact, if you search on Craigslist, you will find many instances of BART tickets at 75-81% of the original value for sale.

I’ve recently bought many $48 BART tickets for $38 cash (79% of original value) and have easily found $64 BART tickets for $54 (84% of original value).  Of course, it also makes even more sense if you work/live in an area that is close proximity to where these tickets are being sold.  I work in the SF financial district where a lot of these tickets are usually offered.  It’s an even better deal when you can buy an allotment of 3-6 BART tickets at the same time and possibly offer to buy all of them at a further discounted price.

The question is “how can people sell BART tickets for less than the printed value of the ticket?”  The answer I’ve formulated is that a lot of companies in the bay area encourage their employees to use public transporation and offer them BART tickets or vouchers for BART tickets (probably with pre-tax money), and for whatever reason, these people end up driving anyway or do not use the entire allotment in a given time frame.  Therefore, they are left with an excess amount of BART tickets and would prefer to turn into the tickets into hard cash.  These people are looking to obtain cash to spend on other things instead of hoarding a surplus of BART tickets since they should still be receiving tickets or vouchers in the future through their work place.  Other people’s “loss” is your gain so take advantage of the people who want to exchange their BART tickets into cash and do you both a favor.  A golden opportunity for Bay Area Rapid Transit riders to get “free” money!!!!

BART Rush Hour Tip

October 28, 2008

For those who work in San Francisco, especially the financial district, you can find it to be quite a hassle to comfortably get onto a BART train heading out of SF on the Pittsburgh, Richmond, or Fremont line.  This is especially true for those who are boarding from the Embarcardero station (final SF station) to make the trek across the bay.  If you simply get onto the BART line going in the opposite direction one or two stations to Montgomery St. or Powell St., you should be able to comfortably exit to the BART train on the other side of the station to get a seat going back toward the east bay.  This also mitigates the risk of not being able to board the BART train in general during the busiest commute times of the day.

This trick only works under the conditions that:
a) You are traveling to the east bay during the peak traffic times on BART (probably around 4-5PM)
b) You intend to board on the later stops in San Francisco (Montgomery or Embarcardero) and would be willing to time the trains to back track one or two stops to ensure a seat for the duration of your 30+ minute ride to wherever your final destination is (the farther you’re traveling, the more this makes sense)