SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Thousands of homeless people could soon qualify for transit passes to ride Santa Clara County buses and light rail trains for free.

The plan approved Friday by the Valley Transportation Agency’s board would require the recipient to be enrolled in a program to find permanent housing.

“It can be critical in the life of a homeless person to be able to get on board a transit vehicle,” said County Supervisor Dave Cortese, who supports the plan.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

Randy, who learned about the plan from the shelter where he is staying, said a homeless person can sometimes walk six to ten miles a day trying to get meals or make it to other appointments.

He said even someone receiving a $150 General Assistance check every month might not be able to set aside $70 for a monthly transit pass.

The program would cost the VTA about $110,000 a year. If approved by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, it could take effect as soon as April.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (10)
  1. Linda says:

    Why not have them pay some kind of small fee for a malnthly pass. Seriously Free, California is so broke remember..

    1. jeff whistler says:

      ummmm just the hell up I was homeless and very sick and no where to turn to it was life and death for me so give it to them for three months or so omg some ppl

  2. Tours Martel says:

    Apparently the VTA is so desperate for ridership that even the reeking and the verminous are welcome. That didn’t help matters in New York City, and it won’t help here, even among the oh so liberal. Give them a wooden spoon, a loincloth, and a trip to Cambodia- they can vacation by removing landmines.

  3. Steve says:

    If they get a free pass, then college students like me who only use VTA to get to BART should get one too. I don’t ride other lines enough to off set the cost for a regular day pass and but I still buy it just to get that stupid discout on the express line.

  4. Lori Atkinson says:

    Uh..You guys are alittle harsh. They’re already sleeping outside!! Let’s give ’em a leg up people!!

  5. David says:

    What happened to compassion for your fellow human being? Just because they are homeless doesn’t mean they are all drunks and drug addicts. Some just lost their jobs and can’t work. Remember, everybody is 1 paycheck from being homeless.

  6. Kitty Lee says:

    i propose using social worker as distribution point…requiring them to take care of themselves — shower, find shelter, meals etc — before distributing the pass.

    1. Ken Dotson says:

      You should work for the government. Being able to do those things is what the pass in needed for in the first place. The next time your car needs gas, why don’t you go pump the gas first and then figure out how you can get it into your gas tank.

  7. jeff whistler says:

    shut up kitty lee lol your so dumb your doctor slapped your mamma

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