Posts Tagged ‘translink’

An “Urbanist’s” Dream: Here’s Your Chance to Help Plan the Future of the Clipper Card – It’s “FutureOfClipper.Org”

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

I had a Clipper Card once. Well, a TransLink, the Clipper’s predecessor. Turns out it couldn’t handle a little acetone:

And now I have no Clipper Cards, AFAIK

But you, you love the (somewhat racist?) Clipper. So why not help the MTC try to make it better?

All the deets:

“Help Plan the Future of Clipper – MTC and Bay Area Transit Agencies Invite Public Input

OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Where would you like to use Clipper, and how would you like to use it? That’s what the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and Bay Area transit agencies want to know.

Clipper is the transit fare payment system for the San Francisco Bay Area and is currently accepted for payment on 13 transit agencies. The reloadable card was launched in 2006. Today, the system has more than 1.4 million cards in circulation and is used for more than 700,000 daily trips.

Whether you use Clipper right now or not, you can provide valuable feedback that will help MTC and its partner agencies design the fare payment system that best serves Bay Area transit riders.

Visit and click the link to take a survey to provide your feedback. You can also share your experiences with Clipper and what you’d like to see in the future via email at or via voicemail at 510.817.5680.

Clipper is a service provided by Bay Area transit operators and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

Note: Clipper is accepted on AC Transit, BART, Caltrain, Fairfield-Suisun Transit (FAST), Golden Gate Transit and Ferry, Marin Transit, Muni, SamTrans, San Francisco Bay Ferry, SolTrans, Vacaville City Coach, VINE and VTA.”

Brace Yourselves, Transit Riders: “$3 Acquisition Fee for New Adult Clipper Cards Takes Effect Sept. 1, 2012”

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Sounds fair enough.

I had a Clipper Card once:

Turns out that it couldn’t handle a simple two-day acetone bath, you know, the better to help see what’s inside.

Actually that was the predecessor to the Clipper, the Translink. Same basic thing though. Now here’s a real Clipper in a flashlight shot to show you where the heart is, that dark square at the bottom:

I think I got it for free.

I think I gave it away.

Anyway, all the deets:

“$3 Acquisition Fee for New Adult Clipper® Cards Takes Effect Sept. 1 – Fee Will Cover Costs, Encourage Long-Term Use

OAKLAND, Calif., Aug. 20, 2012 – Beginning September 1, 2012, new Adult Clipper cards will cost $3. As an incentive for customers to try automatically reloading their Clipper cards, Clipper will waive the $3 fee for customers who sign up for the Autoload feature when they order a card online at

The new $3 fee is only for new Adult Clipper cards; Youth and Senior Clipper cards remain free, and the fee for a Regional Transit Connection Clipper card, for transit riders with qualifying disabilities, remains $3.

Clipper is the reloadable card that allows Bay Area transit riders to load cash value and monthly passes over the phone, online at and at a variety of retail locations, including most Bay Area Walgreens stores. Clipper is accepted on San Francisco Muni, BART, Golden Gate Transit and Ferry, Caltrain, SamTrans, AC Transit, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), Dumbarton Express, and San Francisco Bay Ferry (currently only on the South San Francisco/East Bay route).

Clipper cards have been free since the transit card program launched in June 2010. Clipper provided the cards free of charge over the past two years as an incentive for the hundreds of thousands of Bay Area transit riders to try the card. The incentive appears to have been successful, with more than 15 million trips taken using Clipper cards in July 2012. On an average weekday, transit riders take more than 600,000 trips using the card.

“We want to encourage people to keep their cards, reload them automatically and use them for a long time, rather than throwing them out and getting new ones,” said Carol Kuester, director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Electronic Payment section. “Charging a fee for the card also helps us be better stewards of public funds.”

Clipper offers convenience by keeping track of passes, discount tickets, ride books and cash value that customers load onto it, while automatically applying all applicable fares, discounts and transfer rules. Since Clipper cards can be registered for added security, customers whose cards are lost or stolen can have their card replaced and balance restored for a fee. Clipper customers with questions about their Clipper account can log in to their accounts at or call Clipper Customer Service at 877-878-8883 or TDD/TYY: 711 or 800-735-2929.

Clipper is a project of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.  A question-and-answer page about the $3 Clipper card acquisition fee may be found on the MTC Web site at

SOURCE  Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Metropolitan Transportation Commission”

Your MUNI Clipper Card Takes an Acetone Bath – See What the Guts Look Like – Translink Card is Much Different

Monday, October 4th, 2010

I don’t know, I’d say that the Clipper Card that they’re giving away for free these days is pretty tough. I mean, it took an acetone bath for more than a day and it still held up. Of course, non-invasive techniques can only go so far.

Anyway, this is what a Clipper looks like after you peel away the layers and cut out three-quarters of the remaining plastic or acetate or whatever it is that laughs off an acetone bath: 

Click to expand

See? Copper wiring gets looped around the edges and then hooks up with the RFID-style chip that’s in there. (That’s why cutting into a Clipper with a pair of scissors will kill it tout de suite.)

But the Clipper photoed above still works though.

Now, via Tara at the Muni Diaries today, comes news of what the old-fashioned TransLink cards were like:

Via 0x0000org

See? It’s two chips, two chips in one!

Now, how will you attack your Clipper Card?

Remember, it’s “free” to get a replacement, just like how calling 311 is “free.”

Exceslior, ever upward!

What’s Inside Your Clipper Card – Mapping the Hidden RFID-Style Chip With a $3 Chinese Flashlight

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

Get up to speed on the mystery of the Clipper / TransLink buspass card right here.

Now, there’s no need for an X-ray machine, just put an LED flashlight underneath your card so you can see all its architecture tout de suite.

Here’s my setup, just to make taking a photo more easier:

Click to expand

Oh, here it is, a little rectangle with metal leads stretching out from each corner:

Now, what’s stopping you from cutting off the top three-quarters of your card to be the first kid on your block to have the tiniest of Clipper Cards? Well, there very well might be a perimeter antenna in there, that’s what. Your “contactless smart card” chip might very well be very sensitive to antenna length and alignment.

But you could probably cut out about half the plastic to leave a gaping hole in your card. It should still function.

If you wanted to.

Next step: Acetone bath. You’ll soon be free little contactless smart card chip!

P.S. MUNI sux.

P.P.S. The Central Subway sux as well. Can’t we just stop and then give the money back?

Drop Your MUNI Clipper Card into Acetone to Reveal Its RFID Chip. Then, Make a Clipper Bracelet!

Monday, September 20th, 2010

[Sofauxboho has risen to the challenge – won’t you join him?]

I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking that you want to cut up your bulky MUNI Clipper Card to make it smaller, right?

Like the way Flickrer Global X tried:

“As I am trying to limit the number of credit and payment cards I am carrying in my wallet, I decided to experiment with my San Francisco MUNI card. What would happen if I were to tape the RFID chip on the back of my Palm Pre –would I still be able to pay when I get on the bus? First, I cut the chip off the Translink card (now called Clipper). Then I taped it on the back of my Palm Pré while still allowing the back to close properly. Then I got on the bus.”

Via Global X

The problem with that is that it doesn’t work.

But here’s what you do, you get out your Clipper / Translink card and you toss it into some acetone, you dig? All the kids are doing it.*


Famous Akit of Akit’s Complaint Department** just learned me this.

Here’s what you get after you give your card an acetone bath. You just peel et voila:

You could put your freed RFID chip avec antenna into a fashionable bracelet and impress all your friends. Or just tape it to your mobile. (Or perhaps you could have it implanted just under your skin?)

Now I’d try this myself but I’m still boycotting the MUNI so my virginal Clipper can’t be used for testing.  But you, you be my guest.

Try it!

*All the kids are _not_ doing this. Use caution. 

** “It’s a fantastic blog for any San Franciscan.” (Kevin)

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“You are doing a great job keeping on top of Translink stuff. Keep up the good work!” (Greg Dewar)

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