In 2015, we created the downtown Palo Alto TMA and developed a one-of-a-kind program to improve access to transit for low-income workers.  Approximately one-third of all downtown workers were categorized as ‘low income’ and the drive-alone rate among these essential workers was the highest (over 70%).   The cost of transit and its availability early mornings and late at night were two major barriers to use.  The TMA bought eligible workers a monthly pass on either Caltrain, SamTrans, or VTA, thereby making taking transit an affordable option.  We augmented this by subsidizing Lyft rides for those working shifts starting before or ending after transit service ends.  The program made an immediate impact on the drive-alone rate in downtown and while we no longer manage this service, the subsidy program continues to reduce SOV traffic (and parking) and serves hundreds of low income workers.

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