1276783468clipper card.jpgI’m curious about the rules surrounding tagging your Clipper card on Muni if you have a monthly pass loaded. I consciously made the decision to skip tagging my card this morning on the N Judah since there was only a single car and it was packed like a can of sardines.

Just as luck would have it as I was emerging from the escalator at Embarcadero station, a fare inspector with a card reader was there waiting. He scanned my card and a big fat “NO” came up on his screen.

I have my card loaded with a monthly “M” pass. I didn’t get cited, but am wondering if there are any fines associated with not tagging the card. It’s really a PITA swim through the crowd like a spawning salmon just to tag your card sometimes.

I’ve often wondered this myself, since I have a monthly pass and NEVER tag my card (It’s crowded on Muni! And embarrassing when you have to balance your books, lunch, and other personal belongings while you attempt to swipe your card which doesn’t even work half the time! Sorry, I digress – this question is just close to my heart). I’ve run into fare inspectors a few times after neglecting to tag my card, and it’s never been a problem, but like the “Clipper Scanning Scofflaw” (his words, not mine) that wrote in, I was curious to know Muni’s official stance.

“You should always tag your card when prompted, but if you have purchased monthly fare on your Clipper Card you should be ok,” SFMTA Media Relations Manager Paul Rose told me. “Fare inspectors have portable card readers that can read the amount and fare on a card.”

There you go. You should always tag – kind of like how you should always floss? – but if you don’t, you won’t be cited.

Just kidding, you should always floss. Wow, for an advice columnist I really have to get my act together.

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  • mayonnaiseslacks

    Yep, I remember asking about this very question on a forum a little while back and someone responded affirmatively to it as well.
    Just one more inconvenient pain in the ass that this new costly system gets to impose on us. Not to mention, if you want to get on a bus you won’t be able to just flash your pass to the driver anymore. Nope, each individual will have to take their turn tagging their cards and hope that it works the first time. I don’t forsee this causing any delays at all. Oh wait a minute, wasn’t there a report released not too long ago stating that the number one cause of MUNI delays was in getting passengers on and off the vehicles?
    Nothing like making an even less efficient way of boarding to pick up the pace there fellas!

  • mayonnaiseslacks

    Yep, I remember asking about this very question on a forum a little while back and someone responded affirmatively to it as well.
    Just one more inconvenient pain in the ass that this new costly system gets to impose on us. Not to mention, if you want to get on a bus you won’t be able to just flash your pass to the driver anymore. Nope, each individual will have to take their turn tagging their cards and hope that it works the first time. I don’t forsee this causing any delays at all. Oh wait a minute, wasn’t there a report released not too long ago stating that the number one cause of MUNI delays was in getting passengers on and off the vehicles?
    Nothing like making an even less efficient way of boarding to pick up the pace there fellas!

  • Erik

    I got fare-inspected after not scanning my card with a fastpass (it was during those few days earlier this year when the readers weren’t working because of a bad software update). The inspector let me go but said that they had been told by the Translink people to cite people for not scanning with passes because there was some kind of bug where you only had to pay for a pass every other month if you could avoid scanning your card early in the month.

  • Erik

    I got fare-inspected after not scanning my card with a fastpass (it was during those few days earlier this year when the readers weren’t working because of a bad software update). The inspector let me go but said that they had been told by the Translink people to cite people for not scanning with passes because there was some kind of bug where you only had to pay for a pass every other month if you could avoid scanning your card early in the month.

  • CyclistDriver

    Not to mention if you tag every time, there’s yet another database somewhere tracking you(r life). Every day, it seems like Muni is doing something to tell me I made the right decision buying a car and a bike.

  • CyclistDriver

    Not to mention if you tag every time, there’s yet another database somewhere tracking you(r life). Every day, it seems like Muni is doing something to tell me I made the right decision buying a car and a bike.

  • Karl

    To add insult to injury. On the street, fellows who actually skip fare get first dips at the few remaining seats while the fare paying sheeple get to try to punch their ride.

  • Karl

    To add insult to injury. On the street, fellows who actually skip fare get first dips at the few remaining seats while the fare paying sheeple get to try to punch their ride.

  • Megan Allison

    Flossing is so much work though.

  • Megan Allison

    Flossing is so much work though.