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San Francisco Public Transit Wants to Win Back Riders by Featuring Writers

Short story vending machines bring a tactile reward to those who choose to ride the rails. 

Short story dispenser at Pleasant Hill BART Station.

Short story dispenser at Pleasant Hill BART Station.

Photographer: Maria Avila/BART

Corrected

What’s one way to get public transit passengers back on board? It may be to offer them a train trip with a story on the side. 

The Bay Area Rapid Transit District has launched a contest for public transit riders who happen to be writers (or vice versa). Starting June 1, the transit agency will start accepting short stories of 7,500 characters or less with the theme of “motion.” A panel of local writers will choose 30 to dispense in kiosks placed in four stations across the network.