BART Perks was a six-month test program offered by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority and BART to explore new ways to reduce crowding. The goal of the program was to see if small incentives could effectively encourage people to ride outside of the morning rush. The program complements BART’s long-term efforts to reduce crowding and congestion on trains and in stations, which includes redesigning cars to increase capacity and running additional ten-car trains with the arrival of the Fleet of the Future and a new train control system. The program design is based on successful implementation of similar programs around the world.
Participants were primarily recruited through direct outreach and advertising at the most crowded stations in the system and through partnerships with large employers.
BART Perks is funded through a Federal Value Pricing Pilot Program (VPPP) grant as well as BART operating funds and San Francisco’s Proposition K half-cent sales tax for transportation.
The BART Perks Test Program ran for six months beginning in August 2016 and ending in February 2017. Currently, the SFCTA and BART are in the process of a full evaluation of the program’s results which is expected to be completed by spring 2018. Based on the findings, the agencies will consider how to proceed with further strategies to reduce rush hour crowding.