The SamTrans Board of Directors approved both changes to the agency’s Way2Go Pass and an extension of SamTrans’ participation in the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s (MTC) Clipper START pilot program.
The Way2Go Pass Program, established in 2007, allows residential complexes and businesses to purchase annual unlimited-ride bus passes for all eligible residents or employees. SamTrans launched a study of the program in September 2020, to determine what improvements may be necessary to increase participation in the program. The study ultimately recommended lowering the price per pass, reducing the contract minimum, and allowing educational institutions to participate.
Under the new guidelines, educational institutions are able to participate at $35 per semester per pass, and the price per pass for residential complexes and employers is reduced from $125 per annual pass to $40 and $75, respectively. The minimum cost of a contract will be $2,500, down from $12,500. SamTrans staff will monitor the effects of these changes and provide a report to the board next year.
SamTrans will continue to participate in Clipper START, the MTC’s means-based fares pilot program. The SamTrans Board unanimously approved participation in the program during its monthly meeting Wednesday afternoon.
The Clipper START pilot program allows qualifying adult, lower-income SamTrans riders to receive a 50% fare discount off the adult single ride fare. Clipper START participants will pay $1 for a one-way ride and receive free transfers to other SamTrans routes within two hours of their initial trip.
Clipper START uses the Clipper transit fare payment system to discount the cost of one-way rides for adults (ages 19-64) whose household incomes are no more than twice the federal poverty level (for example, $52,400 for a family of four). Clipper START participants receive discounted fares on participating transit services around the Bay Area, including Caltrain and BART.
For most Bay Area households, transportation is the third-biggest monthly expense — trailing only the cost of housing and food. Clipper START could be a critical program for many families, particularly in the current economic climate.
Visit www.clipperstartcard.com for information on program eligibility and how to apply. Customers without computer access can call Clipper START Customer Service at 855-614-9149.
About SamTrans: SamTrans operates 70 routes throughout San Mateo County. Funded in part by a half-cent sales tax, the San Mateo County Transit District also provides administrative support for Caltrain and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority. SamTrans has provided bus service to San Mateo County customers since 1976.
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