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ClipperSM Card Usage Climbing Rapidly

Contact:
John Goodwin - 510.817.5862
Randy Rentschler - 510.817.5780

clipper card user

OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 20, 2010 . . .The number of Bay Area transit riders using ClipperSM to pay fares on buses, trains and ferries rose to an average of 139,725 during the four weekdays following the Labor Day holiday. This marks a 16 percent increase from the roughly 120,225 average weekday boardings during the week ending September 3, and a jump of more than 100 percent since the formal launch of the Clipper card in mid-June.

San Francisco Muni, which carries the largest number of transit passengers in the Bay Area, also is registering the largest number of daily Clipper boardings. Muni accounted for an average of 57,750 Clipper boardings during the four regular workdays ending Sept. 10. This was followed by BART with 41,975 weekday boardings; and AC Transit with an average of 26,175 Clipper boardings each weekday. Smaller numbers of passengers used Clipper cards to board Golden Gate Transit & Ferry, Caltrain and Dumbarton Express vehicles.

Muni is nearing completion of a year-long project to replace aging fare gates throughout its Muni Metro station network with new gates that will only accept Clipper cards. The roughly $29 million initiative includes the installation of new ticket vending machines, through which customers can purchase new single-use Clipper cards. Installation is now complete at the Civic Center and Powell Street stations, with the finishing touches underway at the Castro, Church Street, Embarcadero and Forest Hill stations. Installation work is expected to begin next week at the Van Ness and West Portal stations.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), which oversees the Clipper program, is working with participating transit agencies and with program contractor Cubic Transportation Systems Inc. to solve several customer service problems exposed by the rapid growth in Clipper card usage. These include a shortage of experienced front-line staff at the Clipper Customer Service Center; hardware problems that are hindering proper clock synchronization on the Clipper card readers installed on 43 buses operated by AC Transit, Golden Gate Transit and San Francisco Muni; and software integration of some “business rules” created by the myriad combinations of fare policies established by the Bay Area’s more than two dozen separate transit agencies.

Graph showing Clipper card use 9-09 to 9-10

Clipper currently can be used to pay fares on San Francisco 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 and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) are scheduled to begin accepting Clipper cards for fare payment throughout their route and station networks later this year. Eventually, passengers will be able to use the Clipper card to pay fares on all Bay Area transit systems.

Riders can order a free Clipper card, add electronic value that is accepted on all 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 select transit agency ticket offices, or at more than 200 participating retail locations — including scores of Walgreens stores. 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.

MTC is the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area’s transportation planning, coordinating and financing agency.

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