BART is first in the nation to offer free transit to military personnel


BART is first in the nation to offer free transit to military personnel

Military on leave from Iraq and Afghanistan are eligible

BART has just become the first major transportation agency in the nation to offer free transit tickets to military personnel who are on leave from fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan.

On November 19th, the BART Board of Directors voted 8 to 1 to allow any active duty military personnel who are on leave in the Bay Area from Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom to receive one BART ticket worth $50 beginning January 2010.

"This is a small token 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 Thomas Blalock said.

"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 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."

The Board action authorizes BART to implement 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 in active duty;
  • Be on leave from Afghanistan or Iraq;
  • Have a valid order from military to be on leave; and
  • Present order and valid military ID card to the Customer Services Center at Lake Merritt BART Station.