Jul 22, 2007

BART debuts frequent rider credit card

San Francisco’s public transportation system—the Bay Area Rapid Transit, (BART)—along with Chase Bank, has rolled out what it claims is the first credit card to offer cardholders "frequent-rider" points toward free rides and cash rewards. The BART Rider Rewards Mastercard allows cardholders to earn points, cardholders earn five points for each dollar spent on eligible BART purchases: at BART ticket vending machines, tickets purchased online through bart.gov, linking the BART Rider Rewards MasterCard to a BART EZ Rider smart card, and reserved parking permit purchases made at bart.gov/parking. Points are redeemable for BART tickets. In addition, cardholders can earn two points per dollar on purchases made at qualifying entertainment locations and one point per dollar on all other purchases. Points can be redeemed for BART tickets or cash. * 2,500 points earns a $25 BART ticket * 4,500 points, a $48 BART ticket * 6,000 points, a $64 BART ticket * 5,000 points, a check for $50 * 10,000 points, a check for $100 In the Contra Costs Times, BART spokesman Linton Johnson said, "In the past it’s been pretty difficult for us to offer discounts like other transit agencies do because we’re so supported by our fares." The challenge has been figuring out a way to reward frequent BART riders without costing BART money, said Johnson, adding, "This isn’t going to solve everyone’s issue with trying to get rewarded, but I think it’s a big step forward."

I know that San Francisco is a long way from Durham but I thought that this article might be of interest to show what the future has in store for transit users. This is something that could work in Canada. Mastercard has something they call PayPass. You could start the day off by using it at Tim Hortons (smile) then use it to board your local transit. What could be more Canadian than that?

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