fastpasslede.jpgTransit riders who rely on the San Francisco Municipal Railway to get around town can begin purchasing November monthly passes online today, and certain riders must do so using the regional transit card, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates Muni.

Customers who purchase select Fast Passes or receive disability discount passes will need to transition from traditional paper passes to a Clipper card when purchasing a November pass, the SFMTA said.

More than 40,000 Muni customers who use the “A” type Fast Pass, which allows riders to access BART within San Francisco, will be affected by the upcoming deadline.

Another 7,000 customers who couple a monthly sticker with a Regional Transit Connection discount identification card will also be required to make the switch before Nov. 1.

Muni customers who already carry a TransLink card do not need to convert to a Clipper card–upgraded fare gates are compatible with both cards.

By early 2011, senior and youth pass holders will need to apply for the regional transit card. Remaining Fast Pass users will need to transition by springtime.

The SFMTA, several major Bay Area transit operators, and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission unveiled the re-branded transit card on June 16.

Beyond city limits, Clipper cards are also used by AC Transit, Caltrain, Golden Gate Transit and Ferry, and will soon be good on SamTrans and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority system.

The agency is urging customers to make the switch early to prevent a flurry of requests right before the deadline, given the volume of riders affected by the change.

SFMTA Executive Director and CEO Nathaniel Ford stressed, “it’s critical that (customers) make this transition as early as possible.”

Monthly “A” Fast Pass customers can get their Clipper cards free of charge by visiting any Clipper retailer, visiting, or by calling (877) 878-8883. Disabled users holding an RTC discount card will automatically receive a Clipper-compatible card when they apply for or renew their card.

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