Last Thursday, the Caltrain board approved participation in the regional means-based fare pilot which provides a 20% discount to households making less than 2x the federal poverty level.
In approving the program, the board gave direction to keep a close watch on the pilot; to get reports quarterly; and to work with MTC to support a program that had deeper discounts, financial support, and broader coverage with more agencies. The very next day, the MTC and transit agencies held a fare workshop taking the next steps to move these goals forward.
The Caltrain board’s decision was bolstered by the assessment of staff that while the financial consequences of the pilot were uncertain, it was not unlikely that revenue would go up due to attracting more low-income riders.
Based on earlier discussions, the Caltrain board had been favorably disposed to approving the pilot. Caltrain’s fare study clearly showed equity programs in the pricing.
SFMTA (Muni) has already approved its participation in the pilot; BART and Golden Gate Transit are next in line to review for approval.