Pilot Project Could Make Transfers Across Bay Area Transit Agencies Free or Discounted – NBC Bay Area


Most transfers throughout a number of transit companies can be closely discounted and even free below a brand new pilot undertaking Bay Space public transit officers are at the moment contemplating.

The “free switch” undertaking would permit riders who switch between two or extra transit companies to solely pay the total fare for the primary transit company they use.

If the undertaking is in the end accepted by regional transit officers, transfers from BART to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, for instance, can be discounted as much as $2.50, so long as the switch is made inside two hours of paying a BART fare.

In response to BART monetary planning director Michael Eiseman, regional transit officers hope to have the pilot undertaking launch in tandem with the next-generation Clipper system in summer season 2024, with the intention of ultimately making free and decreased transfers a everlasting coverage throughout the Bay Space.

“The proposed coverage is, in precept, that the act of transferring between companies mustn’t enhance the general fare paid,” Eiseman mentioned Monday at a committee assembly for the Metropolitan Transportation Fee. “Prospects can use all of (the Bay Space’s) companies as one system.”

The pilot undertaking would final a minimum of 18 months and make use of some $22 million that the MTC has put aside for efforts to streamline utilization of the Bay Space’s myriad transit companies. The MTC would allocate funding up-front to collaborating transit companies to offset the loss in fare income.

The pilot is also prolonged as much as two years if there may be funding left over or if new funds change into obtainable, in keeping with William Bacon, MTC’s principal of transit packages.

“We’ll be carefully monitoring how the pilot is working by way of rising ridership being our general most essential aim,” Bacon mentioned. “After which secondarily to that, encouraging customers to switch between companies and making extra journeys on transit than they is likely to be making below the established order.”

Making transfers throughout transit companies free or decreased price is an element of a bigger plan developed in 2020 by the MTC’s Blue Ribbon Transit Restoration Job Power that’s supposed to unify the wayfinding, mapping and fare programs throughout the Bay Space’s public transit companies.

The MTC is already looking for prototypes for brand new transit maps and signage that would come with built-in schedule data for a number of transit companies.

A two-year pilot program can be ongoing for a single transit move that’s appropriate with each public transit company within the area.

The MTC should nonetheless approve a memorandum of understanding for the free and decreased fare undertaking for it to be formally carried out. Particular person transit companies should additionally approve the memorandum, in keeping with the MTC.

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