The MTA had some good news to announce today about Muni amidst a deepening budget shortfall, service cuts, and fare increases: the agency is launching a pilot program to allow senior and disabled customers unlimited access to BART within San Francisco and all Muni transit services with a single pass. At least during the pilot phase, the pass will cost $15, the same price as the regular Senior/Disabled Pass.
When Muni raised the price of the monthly Adult Fast Pass from $45 to $55 on July 1, it also raised the price of the monthly Senior/Disabled Pass from $10 to $15. January 2010 will bring another $5 increase to the Adult Fast Pass price, and using the pass on BART within San Francisco, a feature now included in the base price, will cost an extra $10.
By contrast, starting in February 2010, senior and disabled customers in the pilot program will actually get more value out of their now pricier passes. Unlike Muni's TransLink trial program, however, each phase of the pass pilot program will be limited to 2,000 participants, who will be randomly selected from a drawing with a November 30 deadline. The first phase will last six months, followed by two more six-month trail periods with separate groups of participants.
According to its press release, the MTA says it will use the pilot to assess the "functionality, popularity and potential costs" of implementing a Senior/Disabled Pass with unlimited BART access. If the pilot is deemed successful, the pass could be made widely available to senior and disabled customers.
Full details about registering for the pilot program are available on the MTA's website.