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Transit Agencies Slash September Fares to Welcome Riders Back

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Several Bay Area transit systems are offering riders serious discounts for the month of September. Beginning Wednesday, passengers will see half-off or free fares for trips on a variety of rail cars, trains and buses.

While Muni is not jumping aboard the month-long discount initiative, all youth ages 18 and under are already riding for free.

BART is slashing Clipper card fare by 50 percent, on top of discounts already given for Clipper START, Gator Pass and youth, seniors and persons with disabilities. For example, a one-way trip for a Clipper START rider from Concord to Embarcadero will cost just $2.50, and seniors will pay just $1.15 for the same trip. The fare charts at ticketing machines will not be changed to reflect the temporary reductions, but the discounts are shown on BART’s online Trip Planner and Fare Calculator

Caltrain is offering a similar half-off deal through the month for its non-Go Pass fares, which is only sweetened by a service level increase rolled out Monday. In a press release, Caltrain officials said the changes go well beyond restoring pre-pandemic levels, increasing weekday frequency and routes to the highest level in agency history. 

AC Transit in Alameda County will let you ride for free every Friday in September. Bus systems in Contra Costa County are going the extra mile with free rides every day of the week on County Connection, Tri Delta Transit and WestCAT.

Per federal mandate, masks are required on all public transit systems.

If you’re looking for something random and affordable to do next month, consider hopping a free or half-off public transit ride and find a new Bay Area city to explore. There are a ton of self-guided walking tours available to suit just about every interest — a great way to discover history behind hidden neighborhoods after a cheap, stress-free ride. 

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Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Journalist, editor, student, single mom to a pack of wolves, foodie, music lover, resident smart ass, and champion of vulgarity and human kindness.