SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – As another Bay Area Rapid Transit strike nears, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission is offering an incentive to those who pick up casual carpoolers.

MTC spokesperson John Goodwin said the idea is to get more drivers to help move more commuters across the Bay, if there’s no BART service.

“A team of volunteers will hand out $5 gift cards for a locally-based coffee and tea purveyor,” said Goodwin. “We have a precariously small marketing budget and we have dumped that marketing budget in large measure into the purchase of $5 gift cards.”

The volunteers will be handing out thousands of Peet’s Coffee & Tea gift cards Monday afternoon, at casual carpool locations on Beale and Spear streets between Howard and Folsom in San Francisco.

“This is to encourage drivers to pick up passengers on Beale and Spear streets and get access onto the priority onramp to the eastbound Bay Bridge at Sterling Street,” Goodwin said.

The agency is also looking at ways to reward companies that allow telecommuting, variable work hours or those that come up with other creative ways to lessen the commute strain.

Goodwin said the MTC will send a cupcake truck or massage therapists to three companies that come up with the best ideas.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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