The Caltrain Board of Directors unanimously adopted a resolution of support for the agency’s participation in a regional means-based fare pilot program. The program, led by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), will allow low-income transit riders to qualify for a discount through the use of a Clipper card. The regional pilot program is currently in the process of being developed, based on a Means-Based Fare Pilot Program Framework approved by MTC on May 23, 2018.
Additional Caltrain Board actions will be necessary to formally approve Caltrain’s participation in the pilot program, including completing the process of updating the agency’s Codified Tariff. This resolution of support indicates that the Caltrain Board intends to approve Caltrain’s participation in the regional pilot program in 2019. One of the goals of the Caltrain Fare Policy, adopted by the Caltrain Board in 2018, is to “advocate for and participate in State and regional programs that make it more affordable for low-income customers to use transit.”
The regional pilot program will run for 12 to 18 months and is expected to launch in fall 2019. 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. In addition to Caltrain, other pilot program participants include BART, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (GGBHTD). The pilot program will be centrally administered and implemented on behalf of all participating agencies.
MTC staff is working in close coordination with staff from transit agencies and county social service and public health agencies in the process to develop and implement the pilot program.
About Caltrain: Owned and operated by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, Caltrain provides commuter rail service from San Francisco to San Jose, with limited commute service to Gilroy. While the Joint Powers Board assumed operating responsibilities for the service in 1992, the railroad celebrated 150 years of continuous passenger service in 2014. Planning for the next 150 years of Peninsula rail service, Caltrain is on pace to electrify the corridor, reduce diesel emissions by 97 percent by 2040 and add more service to more stations.