Bay Area Rapid Transit is launching a program offering cash rewards for riders who commute to work outside of the busiest hours, BART officials announced Tuesday.
The "BART Perks" program will award riders who opt in points for each mile they travel on BART. But they can earn up to six times as many points by starting their trip during bonus hours, either from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. or from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., according to BART.
The points can be traded for small cash rewards or used to play the "Spin to Win" game, where players can earn even more points or cash.
During the pilot BART will pay up to $50,000 each month, depending on participation. The funds will come from a federal grant, BART operating funds and San Francisco's half-cent transportation sales tax.
BART will be looking to employers to allow employees to shift their schedules and help get the word out. The agency is hoping that 10,000 people join the perks program and 1,200 people shift their commute, the equivalent of a 10-car train.
"Our goal is to see if we can shift riders to less crowded times, which will improve everyone's experience on BART," BART Director Gail Murray said in a statement. "It can also improve BART's on-time performance during the rush since trains will have shorter dwell times at each station due to less crowding.
Participants can sign up for the program at BARTPerks.com using their email address and Clipper Card number.