The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and more than 20 other transit agencies that support the Clipper fare payment system in the San Francisco Bay Area in the United States are testing a let -contactless pass which will allow passengers to take unlimited free rides on bus, train and ferry services in the region.
The Clipper BayPass will be distributed to some 50,000 Bay Area residents during a two-year pilot program, allowing them to travel for free on services operated by participating transit agencies.
“BayPass program participants will continue to use their Clipper cards – either traditional plastic cards or Clipper cards on their smartphones or Apple Watch – to enter (or exit) at fare gates, on buses, on railway platforms or at ferry ramps,” MTC explains.
“In addition to traveling at no cost, the Clipper BayPass will work like any other Clipper card.”
Passes will initially be distributed to participating students at San Francisco State University, San Jose State University, University of California Berkeley Campus, and Santa Rosa Junior College prior to be offered to residents of affordable housing communities operated by MidPen Housing.
“This limited distribution, which will be based on random assignment, is designed to measure the travel impact of an all-system pass compared to students not using Clipper BayPass,” the MTA states.
The information collected will be used “to help shape the development, pricing and implementation of one or more new multi-agency passes or fare caps that will eventually be used by many more passengers,” Alfredo Pedroza added. , MTC President and Napa County Supervisor.
“This pilot program is an exciting step toward coordinating fares between transit agencies and allowing organizations to easily prioritize and promote transit as a preferred mode of transportation in the Bay Area,” said BART President Rebecca Saltzman.
“The study of a regional pass using students and residents of affordable housing communities clearly demonstrates our commitment to creating a fairer fare system.”
Besides BART, transit agencies participating in the Clipper BayPass pilot project include SFMTA, AC Transit, VTA, Caltrain, SamTrans, Golden Gate Transit, San Francisco Bay Ferry, County Connection, Dumbarton Express, Fairfield and Suisun Transit, Marin Transit, Petaluma Transit, Santa Rosa CityBus, SMART, SolTrans, Sonoma County Transit, Tri Delta Transit, Union City Transit, Vacaville City Coach, Vine, WestCAT and Wheels.
The Clipper digital card was rolled out to Apple users in April 2021 and to Android users in May 2021.
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