Thursday, December 09, 2010

One Reason to Get a Clipper Card

San Francisco's new multi-transit money storage card, the Clipper, is fairly useless for Muni buses if you're planning to do a few errands around the city on one fare. Nice Muni bus drivers, and there are more of them than are commonly acknowledged, give out generous transfers as a general rule if you pay them $2 in cash, and that extra time versus the Clipper card's rigorous 90 minutes can often come in quite handy.

Where the Clipper card makes a wonderful economic difference is on the Golden Gate Transit ferries to Sausalito and Larkspur.

If you pay for a single passage, as a tourist would, the cost of an exquisitely beautiful boat ride one-way to Sausalito is $8.25, but if you scan your Clipper card, the fare is $4.40 because the system assumes you are a commuter.

This lovely deal is vanishing on January 1st of next year, when the Clipper fare will increase to $4.85, so I would highly recommend you take the sunset 4:00 PM trip some weekday evening in December. It is beyond beautiful.


Your driver said...

The ferries are the best budget outing in the whole Bay Area.

Greg said...

Agreed that there are more good muni drivers than's their union leadership which is made up of doofuses.

Ferries are awesome. I used to take the one to Sausalito on weekends when I lived there and it was always a nice calm way to head into downtown vs. driving, and on a nice day just so civilized.

Back in the pre-Bay Bridge days, commuters and passengers going to and from the east bay could take ferries that would serve you breakfast like a restaurant would during your voyage, and by the time you finished, you'd be in SF or Oakland.

Seattle has ferries too which make for a nice outing , and one even goes to Canada.