MTC, Bay Area transit agencies and county transportation agencies are investigating ways to make the region's transit network better coordinated, more affordable and more attractive.
Building on an effort that began in early 2019, the MTC Commission in March 2020 awarded a contract directing approximately $900,000 of Regional Measure 2 toll funds to bring together local and international fare policy and user research experts to assist MTC and transit operator staff on a comprehensive study designed to identify practical steps toward integrating the fare structure and polices of the Bay Area’s more than two dozen transit agencies.
In addition to developing goals for a regional fare system that will improve passengers' experience and promote higher ridership, the study, which is scheduled to conclude in summer 2021, also aims to identify specific barriers related to fares and the customer experience that are limiting ridership growth, pinpoint specific improvements that can be made, and develop a detailed plan for putting these improvements into action. A significant focus of the project will be user research, where the team will work directly with riders and non-riders of the transit system to help design fare policies that make the system easy to use and incentivize ridership.
Co-managed by staff from MTC and BART, the Transit Fare Coordination and Integration Study also established a Fare Integration Task Force comprised of representatives from:
- AC Transit
- County Connection
- Golden Gate Transit
- Napa Valley Transportation Authority
- San Francisco Bay Ferry
- Solano Transportation Authority
The scope of the Transit Fare Coordination and Integration Study spells out six main tasks for the project team:
- Develop specific goals for a regional fare system
- Document existing conditions and research successful coordination efforts to identify best practices for a Bay Area regional fare policy
- Identify barriers to transit ridership
- Develop and analyze viable alternatives
- Build a business case for each selected alternative
- Make recommendations and develop an implementation plan