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August 6, 2013 > Affordable transit for low income Santa Clara County residents

Affordable transit for low income Santa Clara County residents

Submitted By Brandi Childress

Although riding public transportation is a more cost effective travel option than driving a car, the harsh reality is that not everyone has the means to do either in Santa Clara County.

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) Board approved unanimously a 50% increase in the number of Universal Pass for Life Improvement from Transportation (UPLIFT) Program passes from 1,850 to 2,775 per quarter, and will require funding support from all participating agencies. In partnership with the City of San Jose, and Santa Clara County's Social Services Agency and the Department of Mental Health, UPLIFT provides free quarterly transit passes to case-managed, homeless individuals and those in danger of becoming homeless. It is currently being considered as part of the fiscal year 2014 budget process.

A second action taken by the Board was to implement a two-year pilot Transit Assistance Program (TAP) that will help to promote transit use to those who lack the economic means to afford it. With the help of a $1.3 million grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, VTA will make available 24,000 monthly passes over the course of two years (1,000 passes a month for 24 months) at a nominal cost to qualifying low-income individuals. VTA is partnering with Santa Clara County Social Services Agency and the Emergency Assistance Network to distribute TAP passes, and manage, monitor and evaluate the pilot program.

For more information, contact VTA Customer Service at (408) 321-2300; TTY (408) 321-2330.You can also log onto www.vta.org and sign-up to receive VTA email updates; follow us on Twitter: @VTA and "Like" us on facebook.com/scvta!

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