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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Revised $1.4 Million Budget to Convert TransLink to Clipper (was $500K)

In light of old news just posted today by Rescue Muni, the public has known the transition of TransLink to it's future mid-2010 name "Clipper" will cost about half a million dollars.

Under the radar of the generally pissed-off public is an amendment (PDF document) to be voted upon by the Operations Committee of the MTC on Friday (see agenda). This amendment will give the marketing company, Swirl, more funding to cover the massive transition. $475,000 (or what the general public calls "half a million") was already approved, and they will need an additional $900,000.

A grand total of: $1.375 MILLION

Here's what they will use the money for:
  • $475K (already approved) will be used to "develop new customer materials, update the design of the program website, redesign the logos on the equipment and provide other services to support the rebranding of the program as Clipper."
  • $900K (which will be voted upon) will be used "for launching a marketing campaign in June 2010 timed to coincide with transit agencies’ phasing-out of paper tickets and passes."
From the MTC documents, the money is coming from multiple sources, including the "Regional Measure 2" funds we [the public] voted and approved in a previous election.


If you would like my point of view, Clipper is an awkward name. I can understand that TransLink is used by many transit agencies around the world, including many people who believe Vancouver's TL agency is terrible. There has to be a better name than Clipper.

My suggested name: "The Bay Area Card." Simple, and unique to the Bay Area.


Anonymous said...

I like your suggestion of the "Bay Area card", it would be a name that is more synonymous with our region and more relevant to people at this day and age.

I just wish TL had more uses like as a library card, parking cards (like MTA's), school ID's, etc.

Akit said...

Good mention about the other uses for the card. TL cards can be made with photos attached to it. The Peralta Colleges use this, but they are not official campus ID, only a way to tell bus drivers if the card is being wrongfully used.

Alex said...

What about The BayCard? It's a little bit easier to say. Or we could follow London (Oyster) and Hong Kong (Octopus) by choosing a sea-faring creature. Any sea animals that are native to the SF Bay Area?

Allie Cat said...

@Alex- Seattle also uses the Orca.

Might I suggest the Otter?

Jason said...

Wait, end of paper passes in June? I know people who are just now switching back to paper. When do you think paper passes will be dead and gone?

Akit said...

Good question. Muni's plan is to transition their "A" fast pass only to TL/Clipper, but the "M" pass will still be available in paper form.

One problem is that Muni can't force a transition until the Clipper card program is in full force, starting mid-June, so it will be a few months longer before Muni can really get the "A" pass working.

Eventually, transit agencies will move away from paper passes because of the cost savings of printing while also preventing fraud from counterfeit passes.