Public transit riders may soon get priority access at SFO

Oct 26, 2019

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In an effort to increase ridership, San Francisco’s BART transportation system is proposing a plan to give travelers who take the train to the airport priority security screening access.

Changes in transportation have created fierce competition for public transit systems. Over the past couple of years, BART has experienced a significant drop in ridership for a variety of reasons, from safety concerns to ridehailing services becoming more convenient for some and sometimes even cheaper when with a group.

The growth of ridehailing services in particular has caused congestion issues at airports worldwide, so much so that many airports have had to create separate areas for pickups. Some airports have even gone as far as banning Uber from picking up passengers.

After taking a look at both of these issues, BART saw it as the perfect opportunity to potentially increase riders while also relieving airport congestion with the incentive of priority screening access.

Related: Best credit cards for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck

The BART Board of Directors recently approved further development of what they’re calling, “trip verification technology” (TVT). SFO-hired staff will use the program to scan Clipper cards or QR codes on BART apps to verify a customer has used public transportation to get to the airport. Once the trip on BART or other public transportation is verified, the customer would then proceed to a priority line for TSA screening.

No word on how this will coexist among Clear and PreCheck security lines.

The potential program is still being discussed between BART and SFO, but if approved and the pilot program goes well, BART would consider offering the technology at Oakland International Airport and stadium entrances as well.

There is currently no set timeline for this project, but BART plans to move forward with the development of the technology after receiving the approval from the Board of Directors.

What do you think about BART’s idea to increase ridership? Would you consider taking public transit over an Uber or Lyft to get this perk?

Featured photo courtesy of Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images.

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