Muni Wants Clipper Card to be Wave of Future

By Matt Baume
|  Tuesday, Oct 26, 2010  |  Updated 2:15 PM PDT
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Muni Wants Clipper Card to be Wave of Future

Joe Rosato Jr.

A Muni bus passes through the terminal to pick up passengers. The terminal originally housed trains and railcars which extended across the Bay Bridge.

Muni's hoping to take a flying leap into the 21st century.

The agency is planning a massive outreach campaign to promote the Clipper Card, a decades-in-the-works electronic card that grants access to a variety of regional transit agencies.

Starting in November, say goodbye to paper Fast Passes. From now on, if you want a monthly Muni pass with BART, you'll need to load it up electronically on your card. The cheaper pass, with BART access, switches to its electronic counterpart in February.

If you don't have one yet, you can pick up a Clipper Card at stations where paper Fast Passes were once sold.

Anyone familiar with Muni will be unsurprised to hear that the transition hasn't gone entirely smoothly. The Board of Supervisors is investigating complaints about Muni's lack of communication with customers regarding the change.

Some customers worry that the card will cost more to use. And indeed, there was a incident recently when the card overcharged passengers due to Muni's failure to account for Daylight Savings Time. Other customers have encountered broken machines for loading money on their cards -- or can't find the machines at all.

The card readers are also presenting difficulties, with a confusing presentation of beeps and blinking lights. Many people intentionally avoid the card.

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