BART launching perks program for off-peak commutes

Goal is to shift enough riders to equal a 10-car train load

BART is launching a program offering cash rewards for riders who commute to work outside of the busiest hours.

The "BART Perks" program will award riders who opt in points for each mile they travel on BART. But they can earn up to six times as many

points by starting their trip during bonus hours, either from 6:30 a.m. to

7:30 a.m. or from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., BART Director Gail Murray said.

The points can be traded for small cash rewards or used to play the "Spin to Win" game, where players can earn even more points or cash.

During the pilot BART will pay up to $50,000 each month, depending on participation. The funds will come from a federal grant, BART operating funds and San Francisco's half-cent transportation sales tax.

BART will be looking to employers to allow employees to shift their schedules and help get the word out. The agency is hoping that 10,000

people join the perks program and 1,200 people shift their commute, the equivalent of a 10-car train.

"Our goal is to see if we can shift riders to less crowded times, which will improve everyone's experience on BART," Murray

said. "It can also improve BART's on-time performance during the rush since trains will have shorter dwell times at each station due to

less crowding.

Participants can sign up for the program at using their email address and Clipper Card number.

Scott Morris, Bay City News

— Bay City News Service

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2 people like this
Posted by pja
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 31, 2016 at 1:13 pm

This is a good idea to motivate people to take BART at off hours, but since the parking lots are all full at 7:25am each day, it is virtually impossible to take BART from 8:30-9:30am like they are trying to motivate.

4 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Aug 31, 2016 at 2:37 pm

How about saving those "cash rewards" and put them towards more cars on the tracks, and more parking spaces!! Who comes up with these ideas?? Obviously they don't have to ride that train!

3 people like this
Posted by Al
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 2, 2016 at 11:19 am

As pja says, the parking lots are full after the AM commute. So this incentive would benefit only those who decide to commute earlier, thus filling up the parking lots earlier. So that people who arrive as usual have a worse experience (because they can't park). I took BART into SF for 8 mo: not a pleasure.

And why do we need dirty windows? Something that every commuter sees, every ride. Seems so obvious to do a community outreach program to hire teens in teams that wash one window apiece at each stop, not delaying the train, but getting the job done. Money to teens in each community, a good work experience, get a job done that riders can't help but appreciate, make a statement about BART caring about clean windows. Geez.

4 people like this
Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 2, 2016 at 8:53 pm

Get the Facts is a registered user.

Here's the best "perk", if Bart really wants to get riders at non-commute times: lower the prices during non-peak hours, and raise them during commute time. They will never do this, of course, but that is the best way I can think of to incentivize riders to go art alternate times.

Like this comment
Posted by Lance
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2016 at 9:16 am

Lance is a registered user.

Get the Facts - That is what I immediately thought of when reading this. Why do you say they will "never do this" (I don't ride BART much so I don't pay much attention to it)

Like this comment
Posted by Agree with parking is the issue!
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Sep 6, 2016 at 10:30 am

Agree that parking is the real issue. If you wait you won't get a spot. Drove around for 45 minted and 3 parking lots between Dublin and Pleasanton. What a joke. Clearly if they want more riders they need to come up with more parking not condos!!

Like this comment
Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2016 at 5:56 pm

Get the Facts is a registered user.

Lance, the biggest problem is that Bart is subsidized, the fares they receive will never be enough to cover the costs of operating Bart, so they would be very reluctant to ever lower fares.

If they did some sort of differentiating scale, it would be challenging to monitor and advertise. Right now, you can go in and look at your fare on the chart. But if you had fluctuating fares, then you would need more than one chart, and would those charts be constantly changing? And would they change for holidays, and ballgames, etc? It would be hard, though I'm sure someone smarter than me can come up with an algorithm that would work. It would probably cause a ton of complaints too, 9-5 workers would complain it's a tax on them.

Basically, a giant hassle, so I never see them doing it. I would love it personally, as it would benefit me as I am not a Bart commuter, but I don't see it.

Bigger parking lots are a must, as others have stated. Plus I would like to see a few seats on each end replaced with a bike rack, as there is no good spots for those with bikes.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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