BART's Six-Month Transit Incentive Experiment Reports Mixed Success

The BART Perks pilot program was the first transit incentive program in the country.
March 15, 2017, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Joseph Sohm

John Metcalfe checks-in with the "BART Perks" transit incentive program, announced in March 2016 and tested for six months in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The idea behind the program: to entice riders onto the BART system at hours not deemed rush hour. Metcalfe brings us up to speed:

The six-month trial program concluded in February, and the results are either great or mixed, depending on your definition of “success.” On the plus side, about 18,000 people jumped at the opportunity to participate in the BART Perks initiative, earning points whenever they rode the train that could be exchanged for cash. 

A detailed post on the BART website explains more the results of the pilot program, including some less-than-game-changing results about how the BART Perks adoption spread over the system.

According to Metcalfe, the BART Perks program was enabled by a Federal Highway Administration grant, so it's unclear if whether the system will continue to pursue the idea as a tactic for reducing crowding during the rush hour commute.

Full Story:
Published on Monday, March 13, 2017 in CityLab
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