San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has approved an initiative that will provide a discount to San Francisco State University students who use the transit body’s bus system.
Per a report from the San Francisco Examiner, BART’s Board of Directors unanimously approved the “Gator Pass” program, which will provide a 25% discount to students who travel on the BART lines. The program marks a collaboration between BART and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.
San Francisco State plans to begin the new discount program with the start of the fall 2017 semester. Under the program, students will receive a special Clipper Card to double as their student ID, and will be called the Gator Pass. The “Gator Pass” moniker is a take on the university’s mascot, the Golden Gator.
All students, whether they use the pass or not, will pay a monthly fee of $45 during the spring and fall semesters to reimburse BART and the SFMTA for costs related to the discounts. According to the report, the breakdown of the fee will see $31 go to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency for Muni rides, $12 paid to a university fund to pay for the BART discount and the remaining $2 to SFSU administrative costs.
The initiative was chosen from two other alternatives as the best and most feasible program. The other avenue would have seen BART pay for the entire discount program, removing the semester fee assessed to students. While a second option offered a 50% discount for financial aid students at the university. These proposals would have come with an annual cost — paid by BART — of $14 million and $3.1 respectively, according to the transit authority. Both of those alternatives were rejected.