BART released a new program Monday that incentivizes riders to carpool to the Dublin/Pleasanton, Orinda, Antioch and Warm Springs/South Fremont stations by providing them with easier parking opportunities.
Drivers who participate in the carpool program will have the opportunity to pay for parking via an official BART app and will have access to permit parking spots that “don’t fill up as quickly” as the regular sections, according to a BART press release. According to BART spokesperson Anna Duckworth, the program is a six-month pilot program that will be modified as needed at the four current stations before being rolled out to other stations later this year.
“This new program modernizes the payment process, something our riders have been asking for, and incentivizes riders to carpool by giving them access to permit parking area, helping free up parking spaces for others,” said BART Vice President Rebecca Saltzman in the press release. “Carpooling to BART takes cars off the road, helping keep our region moving while also reducing emissions.”
According to Duckworth, the $3 daily fee for the parking is the same for both carpool and individual drivers, but those who carpool will have an easier and more efficient way to pay, as they won’t have to wait in line, connect it to their Clipper card or get a hang tag for their car. She added that BART hopes to expand the app payment system to all drivers in the future but that BART has not yet decided when to do so.
In its first few days of operation, the program has averaged 112 payments per day, accounting for more than 200 riders, and Duckworth said its use is expected to rise over time. Both BART’s Scoop to BART program, which currently provides free parking for carpoolers, and its 511 Carpool Permit Program are expected to end at the end of the month because of a lack of funding and the introduction of the new program. According to the press release, previously designated carpool parking sections will be converted into additional permit spaces.
In order for riders to use the program, drivers must download the official BART app, create a user profile and hit the pay button once the stall number and each passenger’s carpool ID number are entered, according to Duckworth. The program requires all riders in the carpool to enter the fare gates after making the app payment in order to verify that all users are actually carpooling.
“The program was developed as we work to consolidate the various carpool programs for BART riders and make it easier and beneficial for all riders to carpool to any station that offers parking,” Duckworth said in an email. “Parking at BART is in high demand so anytime we offer a new option to get a space there is interest.”