Get ready for a long goodbye to Clipper cards

clipper card by akit

It seems just like yesterday (actually, six years ago) when we bid farewell to colorful paper Fast Passes and welcomed Clipper Cards into our lives, but as the Ingleside-Excelsior Light reports, it’s already time to prepare yourselves to part ways with your little blue fare cards. Clipper card’s contract with Muni ends in 2019, and the agency is drafting a wish list that new technology could address.

Diana Hammons, revenue manager at MTA, updated the Citizen Advisory Council on issues in the current system such as the 3–5 day wait after loading cash onto the card online, and other problems that have existed since the 1990s, when the system was first installed.

More from the Ingleside-Excelsior Light:

In response to considerations like these from all of the transit systems, the Municipal Transportation Commission, which manages the Clipper system, is drafting a Concept of Operations, or what Hammons called a “dream system list.”

Other items on the list included demand based pricing, real time fares—every bus is connected and sends transaction information immediately—and more flexibility with fares. However, Hammons cautioned, incorporating too many features might bog down the system by making it too complicated.

The new system should address some of these big technical issues, and maybe even look a little prettier while we’re at it. For you nostalgic types, here is a look at Fast Passes through the years.

H/t: SFist, Muni rider Matt

Photo by Agent Akit