Friday, February 18, 2011

Clipper Card: Still Confused

As related in the last post, my daughter now has a youth Clipper card, and I thought I had autoload all set up, after some finagling.

So tonight we went down to Sequoia Station to ride the train, I showed her where to tag on, and the machine read that the card had no funds. Whaaa?

So we bought a paper ticket, like usual.

I think it said on the web site that it takes 3-5 days for an autoload to take effect. Are we still just waiting for it to hit? So now I'm logged into; I see no record of the autoload I thought I set up. So I try to set it up again. But for some reason, on the autoload type-selection page (cash, monthly pass for CalTrain, SamTrans pass, etc) the checkbox for "cash" is just kinda broken--I can't select it.

I was using IE, since that's my "alternative" browser for when I want to access a different account than my usual. So I tried switching back to trusty Firefox, but there's some cookie confusion--I log out of my clipper account, log in as her's, but it asks me to re-enter the card number, and says it's registered to someone else.

As a fallback, I'm trying a one time online fund cash upload to her card. But after I think I've completed it, I see this message:

Please note that when you add value online, it can take up to 3-5 days for the value to be available to be loaded onto your card, and you must tag your card to a card reader to load the value. Your card balance will not be updated until you have tagged your card and loaded the value

Huh? In 3-5 days my money won't be transferred til I use it? The balance still shows as $0. I think this means they haven't actually taken my money yet, but in 3-5 days they'll be ready to take my money, if we use the card. So maybe the autoload I thought I set up is also floating out there, ready to take effect in (now) 2-4 days, when we use the card...

We were planning to ride BART to Union Square this weekend. Maybe I need to go to the nearest Walgreens and add some money directly to the card?

Lame! The MTC spent 10 years and $150 million on this.

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