Transit tickets for hurricane survivors


Transit tickets for hurricane survivors

BART riders asked to donate cash, BART tickets for American Red Cross transit ticket collection

Beginning with the Friday morning commute, BART riders can help meet one of the most urgent needs of hurricane survivors who are now in the Bay Area: transportation. American Red Cross officials say the 1,800 families who've relocated to the Bay Area, have lost everything including their vehicles. Now they need transit tickets to help rebuild their lives.

That's why the American Red Cross, Wells Fargo Bank, the Oakland based, independent accounting firm, Grant & Smith LLP and BART are joining forces to ask riders to donate cash or BART tickets to a fund, which will pay for transportation on any of the Bay Area's 26 transit systems.

The agencies are encouraging riders to deposit cash or pre-loaded BART tickets into safes that will be located at several downtown San Francisco BART stations. The American Red Cross will then use the donated proceeds to purchase transit tickets from Bay Area transit agencies and then distribute them to the Bay Area hurricane survivors.

"Over 1800 families affected by Hurricane Katrina self-evacuated to the Bay Area," said Joan Kelley-Williams, Director of Partner Services for the Bay Area American Red Cross Katrina Response. "They are housed with friends and in temporary lodging. They are beginning to make decisions about their long term recovery here in the Bay Area. Access to transportation is a vital part of the recovery process. The American Red Cross thanks BART and its riders for their contributions to assist Bay Area families affected by Katrina."

There will be one safe at each end of these BART stations all day during the following dates:

  • Friday, October 7?Sunday, October 9
    Embarcadero Station
    Powell Street Station
  • Monday, October 10?Friday, October 14
    Montgomery Street Station
    Powell Street Station

Wells Fargo and Grant & Smith LLP are donating their services to help in this effort. Wells Fargo will collect the cash from BART's portable safes and will set up an account for the donated funds. The independent, Oakland-based accounting firm, Grant & Smith LLP, will manage the account and distribute the money to the American Red Cross for the purpose of purchasing transit tickets.

"Wells Fargo is partnering with other local organizations to help provide relief for the victims of the hurricane who have lost so much," said Lisa Stevens, Wells Fargo's San Francisco Bay Regional President. "Many hurricane survivors have relocated to the Bay Area and we want to do what we can to make their transition easier for them. In addition to our joint efforts today, Wells Fargo team members have pledged $1.5 million dollars in donations for relief efforts."