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Santa Clara VTA To Offer Reduced Fares For Low-Income Customers

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VTA light rail

A VTA light-rail train. (Santa Clara VTA)

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – The Metropolitan Transportation Commission has awarded the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority with $1.3 million for a two-year pilot program offering reduced fares for low-income customers.

The two-year program will begin later this year and be facilitated through Santa Clara County’s Social Services Agency, according to the VTA.

Local organization People Acting in Community Together raised the issue to multiple city and county officials during a community meeting in September.

Officials from the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Board of Directors who attended were Santa Clara County Supervisors Dave Cortese and Ken Yeager, San Jose City Councilman Sam Liccardo and Mountain View City Councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga. Cortese and Liccardo are also commissioners for the MTC.

Currently, a monthly pass on the VTA system costs $70. A single ride costs $2.

“Low-income people in Santa Clara County pay the largest percentage of their income on transportation compared to any other county in the Bay Area—over 33 percent,” said PACT member Sandy Hietala in a report released last year titled “Moving Silicon Valley Forward: Housing, Transit, & Traffic at a Crossroad.”

The study will be funded through the MTC’s Transit Incentive Program.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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