public transit

BART Paperless Ticket Goal Negatively Affects Some Riders: Report

NBCUniversal, Inc.

BART has been slowly phasing out paper tickets across its system, but a new report finds certain communities that rely on public transit would be hurt.

The transit agency's office of civil rights compiled the report, surveying more than 400 riders. More than half of them identified as a minority. While a majority of those surveyed are fine with discontinuing paper tickets, about 20% of the group opposed it.

Additional data shows the paper ticket group includes riders who don’t use smartphones.

Overall, the report concluded that low-income riders, not just people in minority groups, would be disproportinately affected by the switch.

BART plans to give out free Clipper cards through community based organizations in or near low-income neighborhoods, as well as implement a means-based fare discount program starting in the spring.

The agency already began transitioning to paperless tickets at major stations such as Embarcadero, 19th Street Oakland, Powell and Downtown Berkeley.

Monthly Clipper card usage is up by 86% systemwide, according to the report. BART hopes to phase out paper tickets this year.

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