Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) announced Thursday that the commuter rail agency would begin participating in the new Clipper START pilot program, allowing lower-income adults aged 19-64 to receive a fare discount of 50% on the SMART system.
Beginning Monday, Nov. 23, North Bay transit riders with Clipper START cards will receive 50% discounts on SMART, Golden Gate Ferry and Marin Transit and 20% discounts on Petaluma Transit, Santa Rosa CityBus and Sonoma County Transit.
Eligible riders can apply to participate in the Clipper START program online at www.clipperstartcard.com. Applicants must provide proof of identity and income, such as a copy of an Electronic Benefits Transfer card or Medi-Cal card, a county benefits eligibility letter, or a copy of their last federal tax return to demonstrate their eligibility. Once approved by Clipper, they will receive a personalized Clipper card that must be loaded with cash value before use. Clipper START participants receive a 50% discount on single ride fares on SMART.
"Affordability has been a challenge for regional transit," said Eric Lucan, Chair of the SMART Board of Directors. "Clipper START will provide some much-needed relief, so more people can begin to utilize this essential transportation option."