At last week’s Downtown/Diridon community working group meeting which reviews updates on the plans for BART to San Jose, four members of the group urged VTA staff to consider fare integration with BART and Caltrain. As the opening of new BART stations nears in Milpitas and Berryessa, passengers will need to transfer between BART and VTA to reach their destinations, and VTA is considering charging for a formerly free route connecting Diridon and Downtown as part of its Next Network service overhaul.
Your blogger was one of those four members making the comments, in addition to a member of a local neighborhood association, business group, and San Jose State University.
VTA staff said that this might be considered, but did not provide any timeline. VTA is now taking survey feedback on changes to its fares, including possible fare increases, discounts for low-income and youth riders, and transfers. The survey only asks directly about VTA-VTA transfers, but the survey has an “other” field where you can express opinions about transfers between VTA, BART and Caltrain. Share your thoughts on any of these VTA fare potential changes in VTA’s customer survey.
Riders with Caltrain monthly passes of two zones or more get credit on VTA and SamTrans buses, people who use Caltrain occasionally (or a few people who use Caltrain regularly but in both directions) don’t get those transfers, but do get 50c credit on Muni. People who regularly use VTA or SamTrans get no transfer credits for Caltrain, BART, or Muni.
You might expect that these fare integration topics would be addressed in the next generation of Clipper. The short answer is not yet, but decision-makers need to hear from riders. You can learn more about Clipper 2.0 at an event hosted by the San Francisco Transit Riders on Monday evening in San Francisco.
Monday, February 13, at 6pm, at 795 Folsom @ 4th, Suite 100. You can share the event on Facebook here.