One of the items I forgot to add to my Clipper wish list is regarding acceptance on SF's famed Cable Cars. For nearly ten months, Clipper cards have been accepted on Muni's famous Cable Cars, but not without a few bumps in the road...
- For at least four months since late March 2010, conductors have been poorly trained in using the handheld readers and/or refusing to carry or use the equipment. While I did address these problems two weeks after the first day of usage, it wasn't until the Chronicle published a "City Insider" article and the agency promised to retrain their staff.
- Due to a massive glitch in an update TransLink (previous name of Clipper) provided, I was hassled by a Cable Car conductor and led me to go back to paper passes.
- For the last couple of months, I've gone back to my Clipper card with my "M" pass loaded and it's been working fine, for the exception of a few Cable Car conductors just saying it's okay without even scanning it.
This should be a goal for Muni and Clipper by finding a way to accept e-cash as payment for those occasional passengers that doesn't need a monthly pass. In one view, it's an easy way for conductors to handle less cash by deducting funds, but this may also promote more heavy usage thereby forcing conductors to work more with the portable reader than just taking $5 bills and issuing a paper receipt.