With the advent of a Day Pass and fare discounts for Clipper Card users, AC Transit will introduce a new fare policy on July, 1 to streamline the boarding process and make bus service much better for bus riders and the agency.
To minimize fare box delays, speed up passenger boardings and reduce travel times, the new fare policy creates a Day Pass along with incentives to increase the use of Clipper Cards in lieu of paper transfers that will now be obsolete.
“Our aim is to make our service more reliable and financially efficient while offering our customers faster commutes along with better, smarter ways to pay fares,’’ said AC Transit General Manager David Armijo. “The Clipper Card offers the greatest convenience and value. So, we are encouraging our customers to get one and be ready to take advantage of the upcoming change.”
As part of AC Transit’s A Better Ride campaign, the new practice will be unveiled July 1st after months of planning, a host of community forums, a public hearing and numerous announcements publicizing its coming. It is primarily designed to eliminate passengers’ need to fumble with cash to pay for fares or transfers while reducing the dwell times for buses at each stop.
For riders it means less delays and faster commutes. For the agency it means less time for coaches idling at bus stops-- helping to keep service on time while saving fuel and money that can be used to enhance the fleet and provide more service. Ultimately, the combination of the Clipper Card and the Day Pass will attract more riders by making fares less expensive and service more efficient.
That has been the case with Santa Clara County’s VTA, SamTrans, Sacramento, Los Angeles Metro, Orange County, San Diego and Las Vegas where similar systems are already in place.
The plan hinges on the Day Pass with unlimited local rides for $5 for adults and $2.50 for youth, seniors, and the disabled. The pass will be available with either Clipper Card or cash at the farebox.
After Clipper Card users have paid fares of $5 (or $2.50 for youth, seniors and the disabled), the Day Pass will be activated and no additional funds would be deducted during the day. To entice more use of the card, card users will get a 10-cent or 5-cent discount, respectively, off their fares.
Bus riders can also buy the Day Pass with cash when they board the bus, then ride all day--as many times as they want-- without paying again. If the Day Pass is not purchased, the current full fare of $2.10 ($1.05 for youth, seniors and the disabled) would be required each time the rider boards the bus.
Traditional paper transfers will no longer be available because the Day Pass makes them unnecessary. Local transfers with Clipper will also be eliminated because the Day Pass will be automatically applied in the manner as described above.