Here's the situation:
- Rode a Muni bus to the 24th Street BART station.
- Transferred to BART to exit in downtown SF.
- Transferred to Muni.
What would the answer be? The most obvious answer would be: $3.75. This is computed as:
- $2 for the Muni ride
- $1.75 for the BART ride within SF
- The second Muni ride is free because the transfer is valid from the time issued from the first ride.
Actually, John experienced something that hasn't been fixed by Clipper. He paid $5.50. Let's break this down:
- $2 for first Muni ride
- $1.75 for BART ride
- $1.75 for second Muni ride (saved 25 cents off automatically due to BART to Muni e-transfer)
John did use the same Clipper card and transferred to his second Muni bus within 90 minutes of tagging his card on the first Muni bus, but was overcharged, which doesn't make a lot of sense.
What happened is he did receive an e-transfer from his first ride on Muni, but when he took BART, his e-Muni transfer was wiped off and the "BART to Muni" transfer was encoded; this meant that instead of a free ride utilizing the e-Muni transfer, he was charged $1.75 by using the other e-transfer.
This can also happen on other agencies, such as taking BART and AC Transit. An AC Transit passenger could use their Clipper card to pay e-cash for their ride to BART, take BART, and transfer to another AC Transit vehicle to get to their destination. AC Transit's transfer policy is that transferring to another AC Transit bus is just 25 cents, but if the passenger took BART, the 25 cent offer gets wiped off and the passenger instead pays $1.75 to AC Transit.
How can this be fixed?
The easiest solution is for passengers to carry a second Clipper card or pay with cash for some of the rides, but I think this is just a waste of plastic and the need to think creatively to get around the system.
Let's ask the folks at MTC, Clipper, and Cubic. I'm waiting for an answer. Leave a comment.
John asked Clipper on Facebook for answer on why he was overcharged. Here's how they responded:
You're correct - you should not have been charged for the second ride.I can't believe they publicly admitted to a mistake. That's rare.
This was an incorrect implementation of Muni's transfer policy and MTC has been working with our contractor to fix the issue.
We encourage customers to access their online transaction history records to determine if they were overcharged for this transfer trip. Customers who are affected by this issue should contact Clipper Customer Service to request a refund for the $1.75 that they were overcharged.