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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Opinion: Things are Going Better for Clipper

Many of you rely on Akit's Complaint Department to provide you the latest information about Clipper and those times when things can go sour. Thank you for taking time out of your day to read my blog.

I think to myself about how much the mass media has been going into chaos about the news pieces such as the youth in Alameda County not getting their Clipper cards due to the mandatory AC Transit pass transition, the new Muni gates giving "free" access with the wave of the hand, and cheating BART with just $2.

For once, I can say, most of the problems just went away or was resolved, and things seem to be calming down.
  • The AC Transit pass transition went bonkers because parents were too lazy to drag their kids to one of the many sign-up events held by AC Transit, and AC Transit has been telling parents for over a year to bring their child(ren) to the sign-up events to get prepared for the transition. To those parents, here's what I say: "Excuses, excuses. A bunch of bullshit."
  • The Muni gate controversy was a totally worthless story as the old gates was easy to evade, it's called the emergency swing gate; I haven't witnessed anyone trying to cheat the system on my weekend rides on the metro, and I believe Cubic Transportation Systems made a software patch to resolve the issue. Now, most people are used to the new gates (courtesy of my video? Just to make you aware, I revised and reposted it, that's why the view numbers are low).
  • The $2 BART rip-off rides was more of a total joke when BART Board members learned that very few have taken advantage of it. At least KPIX admitted on live TV the station's management debated if it's morally appropriate to report on how to cheat the system.
Even there was a sense of fear in the air with Muni's transition of 40,000 "A" fast passes being moved to Clipper in November, but that went very smoothly and even better than I expected. I thought the December pass would be a big problem, but it seems our savvy citizens have learned where or how to purchase their December pass since paper pass only vendors can't sell Clipper related media.

But still, some small issues came up in the last 30 days...

Occasionally, I notice on Clipper's Facebook page and checking on my Twitter account of people who complain about the little things regarding the program, and there are some who are having trouble getting a refund or totally blows a relatively small problem out of proportion. After all, it's normal; if you have thousands of people using a program, you'd always expect a very small group of those who have an issue. Heck, I work for the state government, you'd always expect that a few citizens will go nuts while the other 99% are A-OK.

For now, the folks at MTC, Clipper, and Cubic can breathe a sigh of relief and look forward to Samtrans joining on December 15th and VTA in February. For me, I'm focusing on the holiday season and having fun with my new cardholder.

For any of you readers who have questions about Clipper, ask me! Just leave it in the comments and I'll get back to you quickly.


Dori said...

Where can I get a snazzy card holder like that?

Akit said...


It's made by Identity Stronghold. They make RFID shielded products and it's what federal government employees use for their ID badges.