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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Clipper at BART Ticketing Machines: Behind Schedule

I just got word today from Clipper's Facebook page that the activation of BART's ticketing machines to be able to add e-cash value is behind schedule.

The original goal for BART is to have all stations ready by the end of March (as per MTC meeting agenda/notes). The new estimated time of completion will be no later than the end of April.

While Clipper nor BART has an explanation of why there's a delay, I'm disappointed at both agencies. The MTC has been mentioning for months in their Operations Committee agendas that BART will be fully capable to add value at their machines by the end of March. I have a suspicion the last stations that will have Clipper added to their ticketing machines will be the downtown core stations (Embarcadero, Montgomery, Powell, and Civic Center) because passengers can go to Muni's ticketing machines as an alternate venue.

While I'm on the topic of BART ticketing machines handling Clipper add value purchases, I hope they go beyond e-cash only purchases and include the purchasing of electronic high value tickets without the need to join the autoload program, and be able to purchase passes and ridebooks too.

Here's the list of stations with Clipper capabilities (in no particular order):
  1. West Dublin/Pleasanton
  2. Glen Park
  3. Pleasant Hill
  4. Rockridge
  5. Balboa Park
  6. Dublin/Pleasanton
  7. Fruitvale
  8. Castro Valley
  9. Union City
  10. Fremont
  11. Pittsburg Bay Point
  12. North Concord/Martinez
  13. Concord
For now, have a great week and stay warm.


murphstahoe said...

They should simplify it. If you have a Clipper Card, you get 6% discount at time of ride. If you buy a paper ticket, full price. Removes the need for a separate product.

bartrider1973 said...

I don't think it's as easy as turning them all on at once. I saw this nice lady testing each machine at Balboa, and she was trying each machine. From what I hear, each ticket machine is like an ATM and talks to the bank. So there's got to be a lot of testing to make sure each machine kosher with the banks. The delays could be because of the banks.