OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- With just a few days remaining before San Francisco Muni's elimination of its paper "A" FastPass, thousands of riders are beating the rush and loading Clipper(SM) transit-fare payment cards with an electronic version of the November FastPass. Beginning Monday, the "A" Pass, which can be used on all Muni vehicles and on BART trips in San Francisco, will be available only on Clipper. The change is part of a phased transition that began this summer. The paper "M" Pass, which can be used only on Muni, will be eliminated next April. Customers adding either an "A" Pass or an "M" Pass to their Clipper cards get the same benefits the paper passes offered, with no additional costs. Customers can reload future passes to the same Clipper card.
More than 3,200 Muni customers have purchased November "A" Passes and loaded them onto Clipper since the Oct. 17 opening of the November FastPass sales period—including 981 "A" Pass sales on Oct. 27 alone. "M" Pass sales on Clipper during this time have topped more than 2,600.
For charts illustrating the growth of Clipper on various transit systems, go to http://mtc.ca.gov/news/press_releases/rel512.htm
Muni and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), which operates the Clipper system in partnership with Bay Area transit agencies, have set a target of 40,000 "A" Pass sales on Clipper during the November sales period, which continues through Nov. 16. MTC, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and Clipper program contractor Cubic Transportation Systems Inc. are deploying teams of customer service assistants — including Spanish- and Cantonese-speaking workers — throughout the Muni system to help passengers make the transition to Clipper from paper passes. Clipper cards preloaded with the November monthly "A" Pass are available at all current Muni pass sales locations (a list is available at www.sfmta.com/vendors).
Clipper currently can be used to pay fares on Muni, BART, AC Transit, Caltrain, Golden Gate Transit & Ferry and Dumbarton Express. Together these operators carry more than 80 percent of all Bay Area transit passengers. SamTrans is scheduled to begin accepting Clipper cards for fare payment throughout its route network later this year, with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) joining the Clipper network in early 2011.
Muni, which carries the largest number of transit passengers in the region, accounted for an average of 114,750 Clipper boardings during the work week ending October 22. This was followed by BART with 64,825 weekday boardings and AC Transit with an average of 37,125 Clipper boardings each weekday. Smaller numbers of passengers used Clipper cards to board Golden Gate Transit & Ferry and Caltrain vehicles.
Riders can order a free Clipper card, add electronic value that is accepted on all participating transit systems, or add a monthly pass for a specific agency online at www.clippercard.com, by phone (1-877-878-8883) or TDD/TTY (711 or 1-800-735-2929), at the newly-installed Clipper ticket machines in Muni Metro stations, at select transit agency ticket offices, or at more than 200 participating retail locations — including the transit kiosk in the Embarcadero BART/Muni station, the Bay Crossings store in San Francisco's Ferry Building and scores of Walgreens stores around the region. A complete list of retail locations is available on the Clipper website. In addition to an Autoload option, Clipper also offers card replacement and balance restoration for customers who register cards that later end up lost or damaged. Registration is free and can be completed easily online, over the phone or by mail.
AC Transit and Caltrain also are transitioning many of their passengers to Clipper. As of November 1, AC Transit's adult 31-day and 10-ride paper tickets, and its youth/senior/disabled 10-ride paper tickets will be available only on Clipper, though customers with paper 31-day and 10-ride tickets may use these tickets through year-end. As with the Muni "A" and "M" passes, AC Transit customers adding a 31-day pass to their Clipper cards will get the same benefits, with no additional costs. Customers who are used to buying a 10-ride ticket are advised to add Clipper cash, which offers the same benefits as the 10-ride tickets.
Caltrain will phase out its paper monthly passes and eight-ride tickets in early 2011. After the transition is completed, customers will be able to purchase these ticket types only on the Clipper card.
MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. MTC invites transit riders to follow Clipper on Facebook and/or Twitter for real-time communication about Clipper system services and operations.
SOURCE Metropolitan Transportation Commission