akit has had some pretty solid coverage of the recent meltdowns for ClipperCard. Being that most everything I need in the Loin is walkable, I don’t often find much of a need for my ClipperCard. I have one nonetheless. In fact, both evarels and I have had them since they were Translink, but I just wanted to share some of my own adventures with this new card.

I love everything about our new, blue cards and the fact is, these have been needed in the Bay Area ever since the technology has been around since our overlapping transit systems as just nutty. Now if only they could merge the redundant management staffs of all the entities.

What I don’t like about these cards is that a) they changed the name, which was an awesome, name from the future b) that it cost half a million to change the name and c) that the ClipperCard seems to have its head up its ass. I’m not exactly sure what’s going on and while setting up my original Translink on the website wasn’t perfect, it worked. I had to go down in person to Montgomery Station to get my new card up and running (yeah I know my old Translink is still valid, but it was getting ragged). The conversation went something like this:

“My ClipperCard won’t start autoloading, even after I tag it and wish really, really hard.”
“Your card has no money!”
“I know, that’s why I set it to autoload. This worked previously with my Translink.”
“But your card has no money! You can’t use it!”
“Yes, I know. The loving souls on the phone told me to come here to make it work.”
“But it won’t work without money!”
(My approach needed changing and embellishment.)
“So, my dear fellow human being in charge of all my access to public transit, how does the card get money?”
“Use the autoload online!”
“Can’t I just load it here?”
“Yes! You can! How much?!!”

And that was how I got my new card working. I’m still not sure what happened, but having just used the card this morning, it seems to be okay. Now, as to why things have blown up so much, I have to say I’m a bit sad as I know a lot of people will point to these problems and want to declare the card DOA, but damn, it’s nice not to have to carry a roll of quarters around when riding the bus.

One last thing, why in the hell is the MyTransit Center at Montgomery Station open from 10AM to 6PM? Just to make sure it’s not useful to commuters?

SFAppeal has a good roundup of what’s been said as well.