BART stations are now offering a 20 percent discount to passengers with low-income.
Low-income commuters could get discounted fares on more Bay Area transit systems as the stagnation cripples both workers who rely on public vehicles and agencies serving them.
Reports are in favor of riders who are struggling because of low-income. Four agencies conduct a subsidized fare pilot program in July. Metropolitan Transportation Commission on Bay Area’s, voted unanimously on Wednesday to use $5 million in federal coronavirus emergency funds to expand to up to 17 more agencies as soon as November. Each transit agency’s board is required to approve the program. The AC transit board has already approved the program.
The commission’s chair, Scott Haggerty, said, “MTC has a long history of serving low-income residents.” He added that the pilot program, called Clipper START, is really expanding that commitment to make transit more affordable to a wider group of people.
The program is to help people who travel the farthest for work and struggle for fares because of low-income. The situation has been discussed for years but was assumed during an unfortunate time, with transit agencies discussing under financial pressure because of economic recession due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Under the implementation of the program, passengers with 200 percent or less than the federal poverty line ($25,520 annually for a single taxpayer, or $52,400 for a family of four) are qualified for either 20 percent or 50 percent discount depends on the transit agency. Only 10 percent of the discount is subsidized by the commission, though, meaning agencies are still taking a hit.
However, the program’s advocates pushing the program as riders who qualify need the relief now more than ever.