BART Seeks Input On Proposed Pilot Program For Low-Income Rider Discount

December 5, 2018 9:51 am · 35 comments

BART’s Office of Civil Rights is sponsoring outreach on a proposed pilot program that would give a fare discount to low-income riders.

This outreach is required as part of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color and national origin in programs that receive federal funding, according to BART.

You can attend one of three in-station events to give feedback, or take an online survey between Dec. 4 – Dec. 31 at

The three in-station events are:

  • Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018 – Pittsburg/Bay Point Station – 7 am – 10 am
  • Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018 – Coliseum Station – 6 pm – 9 pm
  • Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018 – 16th St./Mission Station – 7 am – 10 am

The proposed pilot low-income discount program is sponsored by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the regional planning, financing and coordinating agency for the Bay Area.

Pilot participants are BART, Caltrain, Golden Gate Transit (bus and ferry) and San Francisco Muni.

Riders with income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level would be eligible to receive a discount, which is proposed to be 20% per trip for BART, Caltrain and Golden Gate Transit and 50% for Muni.

The pilot is expected to last 12-18 months with data gathered to evaluate the feasability of a permanent program.

Pending all necessary agency approvals, the pilot program is scheduled to begin in fall 2019.

JR December 5, 2018 at 10:00 AM

All aboard the Homeless Hotel.

The Mamba December 5, 2018 at 10:04 AM

Wait wait wait, BART’s Office of Civil Rights? WTF is that and how much is it costing us?

It's Me December 5, 2018 at 10:21 AM

Ummmmm no!

Dorothy December 5, 2018 at 10:26 AM

BART Office of Civil Rights? Is that another BART pork job?

By the way, what is the official federal poverty level line in the sand? And how much is 200% below it?

RSD December 5, 2018 at 10:38 AM

Really? That program is already in effect and taken advantage of everyday… It’s called jumping the turnstile. Bart is the most mismanaged public transportation system ever. Filthy, crime ridden, and zero economic sense.

Pat December 5, 2018 at 10:40 AM


CatMom December 5, 2018 at 1:29 PM

Hear hear.

Just wait until Gavin gets into office. Sigh.

Cellophane December 5, 2018 at 10:46 AM

I tried to take the survey. Site too busy.

The survey works a lot like Bart, sort of and in good weather.

At least I’m eligible for the low-income discount.

Boycott Bart December 5, 2018 at 11:07 AM

Boycott BART

WC December 5, 2018 at 8:22 PM

I have been boycotting BART for over 20 years. They can KMA.

martinezmike December 5, 2018 at 11:17 AM

I believe that Barts Office of Civil Rights is next to their Office of Environmental Protection, just down the hall from their Office of Indian Affairs. .

Anonymous December 5, 2018 at 12:05 PM

Read the first two paragraphs and explain to me how discounts to poor people relate to discrimination against people because of race, color or national origin ?

PogueMehone December 5, 2018 at 1:04 PM

Sssshhhhhh! You’re not supposed to question that. Look over there. Look! Squirrel!

Concord Grape December 5, 2018 at 12:57 PM

Then there will be a measure on the ballot asking for another 3 billion dollars

ManBearPig December 5, 2018 at 12:59 PM

Can everyone claim this in order to obtain the discount or will you have to provide copies of last year’s tax return for proof?

Mr. John December 5, 2018 at 1:04 PM

So when they hop the gate they’ll be ripping off everyone for less?

Until they institute reform that stops people from taking a free ride, this little change means nothing – except that some low income people will make money off of selling their tickets, I mean.

PogueMehone December 5, 2018 at 1:05 PM

Sssshhhhhh! You’re not supposed to question that. Look over there. Look! Squirrel!

Solution December 5, 2018 at 1:31 PM

Just remove all the pay gates at these 3 stations already! LOL

Concord Guy December 5, 2018 at 2:00 PM

BART needs to focus on getting their labor costs under control.

Law Dog December 5, 2018 at 2:53 PM

Bart should be free for all ! Remove those pay gates now !

Michael Langley December 5, 2018 at 4:22 PM

200% Federal Poverty Level:
SinglePerson $24,280 gross before taxes(approx $20,000 takehome)
Family of four $50,200 gross before taxes (approx $41500 takehome).
Just giving some perspective to the income levels.

How much does safety cost? December 5, 2018 at 4:27 PM

Here’s an idea, instead of loosing money for discounted fares, how about upping Bart police two to theee fold and going full blown prosecution of Bart fare avoiders. Fine those people and go to collect and prosecute them. This will make the system safer. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Bart commute clean and safe. Let’s just say most low income I know that qualify would not respect the system and trash Bart even more! This would just increase the cost even more.

Nunya December 5, 2018 at 4:43 PM

who’s paying for it? they already have free (somebodies taxes) cell phones

Weedeater December 5, 2018 at 4:48 PM

Just how are they going to determine authentic income status? They can’t even control fare evaders.

Elwood December 5, 2018 at 4:51 PM


BART sucks in so many ways.

Pony December 5, 2018 at 7:06 PM

Do they think this will slow fare evaders? And how will this be paid for? By raising the fare even higher for the full fare folks?

ZZ December 5, 2018 at 8:29 PM

Oh just give the low income people a break on gas, Uber, car insurance, lower interest on charge cards, phone bills, t.v., internet. Along with housing. It’s NOT FAIR they can’t afford anything…

RSD December 5, 2018 at 10:28 PM

Here are the profiles of BART’s so called” board of directors”. Just so everyone can be familiar with the decision makers..

Natalie December 5, 2018 at 11:03 PM

There already is a discount program for people with disabilities, which is open to people with physical, neurological or developmental disabilities. Many people who evade fares would probably already qualify for a discount, but would rather pay nothing.

Having a discount program for non-disabled low-income adults might be enticing to responsible people. But people who want to evade fares aren’t going to sign up, unless BART increases their enforcement against fare evasion.

Spendmymoneywisely December 6, 2018 at 6:31 AM

If…this is a precursor to installing physical barriers (i.e. gates/walls/fences) that actually prevent fare-evading, then maybe it is a decent idea. It would be harder for the far-left to argue discrimination/unfairness if discount programs exist. However, the cost of administrating such a program will likely outweigh any additional revenue by eliminating fare evasion. No easy answer.

Joatmeal December 6, 2018 at 7:45 AM

Low-income doesn’t mean homeless.

Anonymous December 6, 2018 at 8:50 AM

In an attempt to provide input I emailed both Directors who handle Concord . Keller hasn’t bothered to answer . Our other Director Deborah Allen, is the only Director who did not publish her biography on BARTs web site . Anyone know why?

WC Resident December 6, 2018 at 1:27 PM

As for Debora Allen – She does not seem to have been active in the sort of things that show well on a BART biography. She ran for assembly district 14 and wrote a rather generic bio for that. She lost.

She mentions “construction” in her district 14 bio and so I checked on the CSLB web site. From 2002 to 2012 she was listed as an officer for W. E. Lyons Construction in Walnut Creek. That company is still in business.

Starting in 2005 she was also an officer with Oak Harbour Construction in Oakland but their license expired in 2007.

At present her husband runs East County Glass & Window though she is not listed as an officer of that company. She says she’s the CFO.

After failing to get past the primaries for Assembly District 14 she ran for BART director. These two web pages eastcountytoday and votersedge seem to cover what she said prior to the election. From the votersedge site I see she has more of a finance background. The SF Chronicle backed over over Gail Murray.

The cocovote election site is screwed up. They failed to document the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, District 1 election candidates and results other than buried on this spreadsheet where we learn that Debora Allen blew Gail Murray away, 64.5% to 35.1% (103,697 for Allen, 56,381 for Murray, and 666 write-in). This race was the very last item on the ballot. Maybe voters were exhausted after thinking about Trump vs. Clinton at the head of ballot.

Since being elected Debora Allen seems to have been a bit of an honest loose cannon. While that’s reassuring it will not make for a long political future. See these articles about her: eastbaytimes and sfchronicle.

In looking at her financial disclosure form I see she’s quite busy and likely does not spend a lot of time thinking about BART.

WC Resident December 6, 2018 at 10:35 PM

One more on Debora Allen. She got into the news today in a way that confirms my honest loose cannon comment.

Beanzy December 7, 2018 at 2:32 AM

If a person has an EBT card from Calfresh (food stamps), that person will be eligible for the discounted transit fares.

It’s that simple, folks.

So the BART 20% discount on a round-trip fare to SF from Concord & back will be $2.58. Or cost only $10.42 instead of the usual $12.90.

Honestly not a whole lot of savings. But hey, it’s not like they’re making a lot of money at their low-paying jobs anyhow.

But folks on claycord sure like to huff and puff over small things that really don’t affect them, that’s for sure.

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