As of Monday, Muni’s “A” Fast Pass has been phased out in favor of the Clipper Card, and the transition went surprisingly well. The change impacts those that use the “A” pass, that works on Muni and BART. Riders that use these monthly passes now have to purchase a Clipper card with preloaded “A” passes.
In anticipation of possible confusion, Muni and Clipper had employees assisting people at Metro stations, on busy bus lines, and at larger Fast Pass vendors. The Chronicle noted that lines at the coffee kiosks were longer than those to buy Clipper.
The ease of the transition comes as a surprise as the same thing can not be said about the rest of the Clipper adoption process. Since the Clipper card has gained usage, commuters have dealt with card reader malfunctions, broken fare gates, and overall confusion among drivers and passengers.
Since there are about half of the number of Clipper outlets as there are for Fast Pass, problems may arise at the end of the month when users have to refill their card. This month, Fast Pass vendors agreed to sell the Clipper card, preloaded with “A” passes, to make the switch over less of an issue for customers. You can find a retail location, or add value to your card, on the Clipper website.
Over the next several months, Clipper will phase in even more with January being the last month for the paper senior and youth and passes. The “M” Fast Pass, which can only be used on Muni, is still available – but will be eliminated at the end of March 2011.