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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Samtrans Monthly Passes Goes Clipper Only in January 2012

Samtrans is joining the Clipper card bandwagon by moving some of their fare products. Starting January 2011, all passes must be loaded onto a Clipper card.

There are some funny parts to this change in policy. Once this process starts, there will be no prorated passes you can buy for a discount. Also, the Clipper card in-person vendors are spread a little thin around San Mateo County; all Walgreens locations near the Caltrain tracks can handle the purchasing of passes, but if you depend on Samtrans in Half Moon Bay and the coastline areas, you are screwed.

I'm curious to know if anyone even uses Clipper on Samtrans, other than those Caltrain passengers with a two+ zone monthly pass. I wait for my 18-46th Avenue bus at a joint Muni/Samtrans stop and all the passengers who boards pays in cash.


Tony said...

"... all the passengers who boards pays in cash." Standing at the 120 bus stop at Daly City BART, with a huge crowd waiting to board, most of them pay in cash, with very few of them using monthly pass or BART Plus. I haven't been on 120 in the past few months, so I don't know how many of them use Clipper.

I use SamTrans tokens. I barely see anyone using them either. When the fare was still $1.50, a lady didn't have coins, but with 3 dollar bills. She asked me to give her my fare, assuming I would also pay in cash, so that she won't overpay. I gave her a token, she asked me "What's that?" and how to get them. She took the token and put the 3 dollar bills in.

Perhaps many SamTrans riders [who do not use Caltrain] don't even know that they can obtain SamTrans fare products at Safeway, or Clipper fare products at Walgreens.

I also wish that riding SamTrans using Clipper would be like using a token, with a little discount comparing with cash. It would be the best, and simple, if I don't have to pre-pay 10 "e-tokens."

John G said...

If one sets up a Clipper Card account and registers a Clipper Card online, monthly passes and other fare products may be purchased online or through a transit benefit provider; they are uploaded onto the card the next time it is used. Because Clipper Card readers aren't online, there is a staging delay, so it is not quite as convenient as purchasing at SamTrans HQ (or Walgreens).