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Overhaul San Francisco's transit system in strategic board game Connect the Bay

Fare well.

Think like a civil engineer when sitting down to play Connect the Bay, an upcoming board game about filling San Francisco’s Bay Area with bus lines, trains and other critical transportation lines. The Kickstarter-funded title is created in collaboration with the Seamless Bay Area non-profit.

Designed by architect and artist Alfred Twu - Connect the Bay shoulders two to five players with the task of creating an integrated travel system that will efficiently transport both residents and visitors across the unique terrain and metropolitan sprawl of the Bay Area in California.

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Everyone will take turns placing homes, people and activity centers that score points based on their proximity to other tiles - homes score more closer to people; people to activity centers; and activity centers to homes. This creates an interest triangle of needs as players are forced to move further away from the city center to place their tiles.

Thus, the transit system. Tiles can also draw bonuses when connected by routes such as train tracks, bus lines or bike paths. Each mode of transportation has its own strengths and weaknesses, so assessing the board state and deciding how best to connect far away zones can close a sizable point gap or even steal victory out from under another player’s nose.

Connect the Bay is being created in collaboration with Seamless Bay Area, a 501(c) non-profit organization dedicated to upgrading and streamlining the area’s public transit system while also making it affordable and available to all residents, regardless of background or material conditions.

“Currently, Bay Area transit riders face extra fares and long waits when making trips across multiple agencies,” the game’s description page reads. “Connect the Bay simulates how a more seamless system – with smooth connections and standardized fare zones – could help the people of the Bay Area to reach more places.”

The Kickstarter for Connect the Bay will run through April 18th, with a physical box available to backers for $59 (£43). A digital print-and-play version can be grabbed, instead, for $19 (£14). Shipping on the complete boxes is currently scheduled for August of this year.

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