Transportation Authority of Marin Expands the Lyft $5 incentive program to include the new Downtown Novato and Larkspur SMART Stations Beginning January 2020
SAN RAFAEL, Calif., January 24, 2020– Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) announced the expansion of the partnership with Lyft and Whistlestop to provide up to $5-off shared Lyft rides to and from all SMART stations in Marin County, including the new Downtown Novato and Larkspur SMART stations.
The incentive program was initiated in September 2017 and has proven to be a popular option, providing thousands of rides for passengers to get to and from SMART stations without needing to drive their personal vehicle. This low-cost and innovative solution to first and last mile needs in Marin County expands the mobility options for Marin County residents, employees and visitors.
The program is designed to support new SMART ridership and encourage shared mobility options that reduce congestion and pollution. Lyft’s Shared rides are an affordable option that matches passengers taking a similar route. The technology provides an effective, real-time way to encourage and enable carpooling for first and last-mile access to Marin’s SMART rail service. TAM has partnered with local nonprofit Whistlestop to ensure this program is available to all users, including providing rides with wheelchair accessible vehicles.
Anne Richman, TAM’s Executive Director noted, “The GET2SMART incentive program is a cost-effective, reliable way to help Marin residents and workers get to and from transit, what is often referred to as the first/last mile. TAM is always working to improve mobility and expand transportation options in Marin. The $5 savings helps nudge people to leave the car at home and try a new way to get to work.”
Paul Davis, Lyft’s Senior Manager of Government and Transit Partnership said, “Lyft is excited to expand our first-last mile partnership with TAM to improve access to the new SMART train stations. Lyft’s Shared rides provide a cost- effective and environmentally friendly way to get to the train for residents and employees.” Davis continued, “Users of the program will benefit from not having to look for parking at the station, while also helping reduce emissions through sharing a Lyft ride with a co-worker or neighbor.”
Participants in the program pay the first $2 fare of their shared Lyft ride to or from SMART, and then TAM provides up to $5 for the remaining cost of the ride.
The partnership with local nonprofit Whistlestop ensures this pilot program is accessible to all users. As part of this program, Whistlestop provides ADA services for individuals with disabilities and will schedule Lyft rides for individuals that don’t have access to a cell phone. According to Eric Villalobos, Whistlestop’s General Manager of Transportation Services, “At Whistlestop, we’re always interested in working with community partners to improve independence and mobility for older adults and those living with disabilities. We are thrilled to be working with TAM and Lyft to expand this program and ensure it is accessible and available to all Marin residents.”
The program is funded by Marin’s $10 annual Vehicle Registration Fee passed by Marin County Voters in 2010 to maintain local streets and pathways, improve transit for seniors and persons with disabilities, and reduce congestion and pollution.
How It Works
To receive the up-to $5 incentive, participants must:
- Download the Lyft app and Register for an Account
- Use the shared Lyft ride option on the Lyft app, where available, allowing passengers on a similar route to share the ride
- Enter the promo code GET2SMART to receive up to $5 credit on up to 40 trips per month. The number of trips will be automatically renewed each month.
- The shared ride option is not available on the Lyft app from the San Marin and Downtown Novato SMART stations, passengers at these stations should enter the promo code GET2SMARTSM
- For those without smartphones or those who need a wheelchair accessible vehicle, call Whistlestop at 415-454-0998 to arrange for your Lyft ride. Rides are encouraged to be scheduled in advance. Be sure to mention the GET2SMART program.
- Begin or end the ride at a SMART station in Marin County during the SMART hours of operations Monday through Friday. Marin SMART Stations are as follows:
- Novato San Marin
- Novato Downtown
- Novato Hamilton
- San Rafael Marin Civic Center
- San Rafael Downtown
About Transportation Authority of Marin
TAM administers the expenditure plans for Measure AA, the 1⁄2 cent sales tax measure renewed in 2018 and Measure B, the $10 Vehicle Registration Fee approved in 2010. TAM also serves as Marin’s Congestion Management Agency and is responsible for coordinating funding for transportation projects and programs to improve mobility, reduce congestion, and provide a transportation system with more options for those living, working, learning and traveling in Marin County. More information is available at www.tam.ca.gov.
Lyft was founded in 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation, and is available to 95 percent of the United States population as well as select cities in Canada. Lyft is committed to effecting positive change for our cities and making cities more livable for everyone through initiatives that bridge transportation gaps, and by promoting transportation equity through shared rides, bikeshare systems, electric scooters, and public transit partnerships.
Whistlestop celebrated 65 years of service in 2019! Founded in 1954 as Marin Senior Coordinating Council, Whistlestop promotes the independence, well-being and quality of life for older adults and people living with disabilities in Marin County. Whistlestop’s Active Aging Center provides delicious meals, nutrition services, education and exercise classes, multicultural gatherings and helpful information and referral services. Whistlestop also provides special needs transportation services through both the Golden Gate Regional Center and Marin Access, a partnership of Whistlestop, Marin Transit and Golden Gate Transit. Whistlestop provides medical and grocery transportation through its CarePool program and operates Marin’s Meals on Wheels and Whistlestop Nourish programs, serving meals to over 315 homebound older adults and people with chronic illness each week in the Marin community. For more information about Whistlestop and its classes and services, please visit www.whistlestop.org.
Planning Manager, Transportation Authority of Marin
Marketing & Communications Director