Military on leave from Iraq and Afghanistan eligible for $50 BART ticket
Active duty military personnel who are on leave in the Bay Area from Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom are now eligible to receive one BART ticket worth $50. BART allocated $50,000 to this program and is the first major transportation agency in the nation to offer free transit tickets to military personnel who are on leave from duty in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Today, representatives from the United States Army Reserve, the United States Marine Corps and the United States Navy joined BART officials to launch the program.
"This is a small gesture of our deep appreciation to the men and women who leave their loved ones behind and put their lives on the line to defend our freedom," BART Board President James Fang said. "As concerned members of the Bay Area and Americans, BART is honored to provide this gesture to help these patriots literally re-connect with their lives back home."
"Regardless of how people view these war efforts, we want to recognize the tremendous sacrifices the men and women of the military make," BART Director Gail Murray said. Murray came up with the idea to offer active duty military personnel on leave with free transit tickets. "Even in these tough budget times, we want to send our military personnel a message that BART, on behalf of the Bay Area community, values their service and sacrifice."
"As a combat vet, I know full well the sacrifice and risk our military service members endure in Iraq and Afghanistan and the degree of pride and appreciation they'll experience not only for the gift of BART tickets while they are on rest and recuperation or leave but especially for our recognition and gratitude for their extraordinary service which these tickets represent," BART Director John McPartland said. "As a retired Army Colonel, instituting this policy is the proudest moment and greatest contribution I've been able to make to the military service since I hung up my uniform over a decade ago."
FREE MILITARY PASS PROGRAM DETAILS
BART has implemented a one-year pilot program that will issue up to $50,000 worth of free BART tickets to those men and women in the military who present BART with a valid leave order from their respective branch of the military authorizing them to be on leave from the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq. If the $50,000 threshold is reached before the one-year expiration of the program, staff will return to the Board to modify the program, if necessary.
To be eligible for the free $50 BART ticket, a military member must:
- Be on active duty;
- Be on leave from Afghanistan or Iraq;
- Have a valid order from military to be on leave; and
- Present order & valid military ID card to the Customer Services Center at Lake Merritt BART Station.