You’ve probably heard Heather’s story before: Fare inspectors issuing a ticket when the Clipper Card reader wasn’t working. Heather attached a memo from the SFMTA (seen above) that says passengers can ride without paying when the Clipper Card reader is not working. After hearing so many of these stories, I think it’s probably worth walking to the front of the bus to try the Clipper Card reader there.
Have you successfully contested a similar ticket before?
Here’s Heather’s story.
I got onto a 1 bus at Embarcadero Center yesterday through the back door and the transponder stated “out of service.” Several others got on at the same time. When we got to Sacramento and Polk there were transit officers asking for proof of payment. They came to me and I gave them my Clipper Card with more than $20 on it. It showed no fare paid and I explained that the transponder was out of service when I got on the bus. The officer asked the driver who said the transponders were working the whole time. And in fact the back one had come back on.
I asked the other passengers if they had gotten on the same stop and no one came forward. I was asked to get off the bus. A ticket was written to me for attempted Clipper failed to tag, which is $106.00. The officer said I could protest but I am concerned that I’ll still have to pay.
I had money on my Clipper I was ready to pay my fare but could not. What more can a passenger do? I had to take that bus to get somewhere on time. I was late from having to get off the bus for the ticket, not to mention the humiliation of being seen as a fare evader. I’ve seen it written in Muni policy that if the transponder isn’t working you can just ride the bus without paying. I didn’t have the right amount of money for the fare.