A plan to combine the Bay Area’s dozens of transit networks

SF-based Assemblymember David Chiu wants to put different agencies on the same track

By Adam Brinklow, Curbed, February 5, 2020

“The Bay Area almost has more public transit than it knows what to do with — and that’s the problem according to Assemblymember David Chiu. 

“His new bill Assembly Bill 2057 would establish a single universal bus fare across the Bay Area and one single discount standard for every agency, create a combined transit map and departure time reference, and develop a new type of transfer that works across every transit line.

“The legislation also establishes a consulting team for bigger, more grandiose implementations down the line, like a single fare for all Bay Area transit, and (the holy grail for harried commuters) a scheduled alignment between different systems.

“Eventually, someday, the region could achieve something like unity, merging dozens of disparate systems into a single one. Or that idea could breakdown if, as is often the case, agencies can’t force compatibility between so many moving parts designed to work separately. In any case, Chiu’s initial foray will help suss out how this vast project might work.

“Most Bay Area commuters use more than one system, but there’s little if any coordination between the agencies. Caltrain and BART will time transfers at Millbrae station, for example, but switching from BART to Muni or AC Transit is a gamble at best most days.

“For now the bill remains a hazy outline. But once there’s more meat on its bones, it will pass through committee hearings in Sacramento at a later date.”

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