BART really, really wants you to stop riding during rush hours. So much that they’re willing to pay you for it.
Perks, BART’s rewards program, kicked in on Wednesday. If you register your Clipper card online, your account will start accumulating one point per mile that you go via BART. Points can later be traded in for cash.
Not very much cash, mind you; every point is worth a tenth of a penny, and you have to run up 1,000 of them before you can trade it in for a dollar. Hey, it’s a taxpayer funded system, what do you want?
Where things get potentially interesting is the two sweet spot periods that flank the morning rush hour. Ride during the window from 6:30 am to 7:30 am or between 8:30 am and 9:30 am and you’ll earn three points per mile. Ride often enough and they will bump up your pay, eventually topping out at a rate of six points a mile.
If the potentially stingy exchange rate from points to dollars still doesn’t suit yo ( no matter how quickly they accumulate), you have the option of pouring them into some kind of mad, LOTTO-style virtual game that could potentially yield up to $100 payout. Or theoretically nothing. And there’s something about a "bonus box" and "Autoplay." It goes on from there.
Point is, there’s basically no reason not to give the six-month pilot program a try, since you’re riding BART anyway, and money for nothing, however small the sum, is never something to turn your nose up at.
Still, we’re really not sure if the minor denominations (and potentially circuitous route to getting more) will be enough incentive to get morning commuters to shuffle their plans around.