The new Muni metro gates and ticketing machines are now in use at the Powell station's main gates (west entrance) and things are not going as well as they planned. With only three ticketing machines issuing the new paper tickets, the lines were very long. When compared to BART, they have nearly a dozen; Muni needs to add a few more for this busy station.
Since it was too challenging to film while people are impatient after waiting ten minutes to buy a ticket, I went down to Civic Center station to try out the ticketing machines and gates, and make a couple of videos on how to use the new equipment.
As I mentioned before, the purchasing of each new "limited use ticket" or LUT costs 25 cents, valid only on Muni, and expires in 90 days. Since nobody likes to get nailed with fees, here's an easy way to avoid it:
- The new ticketing machines can also issue plastic Clipper cards with NO SURCHARGE! Since Clipper is still doing the promotion to issue free cards to the general public, the machines will also give you a new card as long as you add a minimum of $2.
- Instead of paying $2.25 for a paper ticket surcharge (25 cents) and one ride ($2), just follow the on-screen instructions to obtain a Clipper card with $2 balance, add $2 in cash to the machine, and you have a brand new reusable Clipper card that lasts longer than paper, won't expire in 90 days, and can be used on other agencies.
Let's watch a couple of brand new YouTube videos I produced about the new metro equipment.
How to use the new gates with paper Muni passes:
How to Add Clipper E-Cash using New Ticketing Machine:
Muni needs to put something up that tells users not to push on the gates upon exit.
The amount of time these gates take to open for exiting seems to confuse users. I saw a couple people run into them or pushing on them at the Powell Station. They're almost as bad as trying to open the rear doors on the Orion Hybrid buses.
Yes - more hilarity this morning during my rush hour commute that exits at Powell. The poor Clipper reps were trying to get everyone to keep going through the gates, but those things are so incredibly slow to open that it just caused a massive backlog of annoyed commuters.
I thought it was pretty funny - but if they are still opening at that speed in a few weeks, I think I'll have to start hopping the barrier.
One thing that hasn't been made very public about is when exiting, if the gate's doors are open (e.g. tailing someone), you can just walk though. There is no need to wait for the gates to close.
Same goes for entering the system, as long as the passenger successfully tags their card or swipes their paper pass.
I am amused the news (Kron4 "people behaving badly") video shows how to open the fare gates by simply waving your hand past the exit sensor on the gate..
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