Should You Pay When the Clipper Card Reader Is Broken? (update from MTA)
Photo by AgentAkit
Update (12:45 p.m.): We just heard back from SFMTA. Apparently, when the machines are broken, drivers are not supposed to make cardholders pay, regardless of whether the rider has his/her Fast Pass loaded on the card. Here’s a document SFMTA says they sent to operators notifying them of this change in procedure:
So, in Lisa’s case (see “Original post,” below), the driver was wrong to ask her to pay. Maybe that driver didn’t get the memo, literally. It’s dated June 29, which was Tuesday, the day before Lisa’s incident.
Muni rider and Clipper Card holder Lisa shares this story (excerpted):
I was trying to catch the 28 [Wednesday] morning around 6:30 a.m. at 19th Ave and Holloway and the translink readers on the bus were down. The driver tells me I have to pay cash fare when the reader is down and that’s policy. I tried to explain to her that that made no sense as I had a monthly pass and, therefore, had already paid regardless of the reader.She said no, it’s policy, that I had a translink card and not a pass. I said, I paid for a pass, your readers are always down, I ride everyday and no one has ever said this to me before. But she still said I had to pay. So, in the end, I refused to pay on principle, and the driver would not allow me to ride, despite having paid my $70 for my monthly pass. I was 20 minutes late to work. I should have just gotten on the back with the rest the fare dodgers.
We don’t see any information on the Clipper site about this situation (neither the FAQ page nor Clipper with specific transit agencies pages). And we can easily envision this situation happening with increasing frequency as more and more riders use Clipper with their Fast Pass loaded onto the card.
What do you think? How do you think this situation should be handled? Even better, has Clipper considered this situation and devised a fix for it?
We asked SFMTA and will update you as soon as we hear back.
Related: Akit has a post up today about Clipper/Fast Pass holders whose passes aren’t loading by the first of the month, and aren’t being given the 3-day “grace period.” Kinks, they abound!