Caltrain to join discount pilot program for low-income riders

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Low-income transit riders using a Clipper card will qualify for a discount to ride Caltrain as part of an upcoming “means-based fare pilot program” led by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC).

On Thursday, the Caltrain Board of Directors unanimously adopted a resolution supporting the agency’s participation the regional program, although further board action is needed to formally approve its participation.

“Caltrain has become too expensive for lower income members of our community to ride,” said Belmont City Councilmember and Caltrain Director Charles Stone.

“Accessible transit is a critical part of addressing income inequality in our region and I’m thrilled the board is taking this step to ensure our neighbors in need have access to the county’s transit spine.”

The regional pilot program is still being developed but is expected to launch this coming fall. It will run for 12 to 18 months.

“Adults that earn less than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level will be eligible for pilot program participation and will receive a minimum discount of 20 percent off of single-ride adult Clipper Card fares,” according to Caltrain.

BART, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District will also participated in the pilot program.

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