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Pilot program aims to increase Bay Area public transit ridership

A BART Clipper card
Sunni Khalid
Flickr / Creative Commons
A BART Clipper card

Some 50,000 college students and affordable housing residents in the Bay Area will be among the first to try out what is being called the regional Clipper BayPass.

All students at Santa Rosa Junior College will have access to the BayPass program, as well as select students at San Francisco State University, San Jose State University and University of California, Berkeley.

The pilot will later expand to include residents of at least three housing developments run by MidPen Housing.

Two dozen transit agencies across the region and The Metropolitan Transportation Commission -- the agency overseeing transportation planning, financing and coordination in the Bay Area -- launched the project in an effort to make public transit easier and more efficient.

The pilot is one of several efforts to both bring back riders in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and make public transit more seamless across the bay area participating transit agencies include BART, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (Muni), Alameda-Contra Costa Transit (AC Transit), Caltrain, Soltrans, the Golden Gate and San Francisco Bay ferries, Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit and SamTrans, among others.

Sunni M. Khalid is a veteran of more than 40 years in journalism, having worked in print, radio, television, and web journalism.