San Francisco - and the BART (Public Transportation)
We are quite a ways out from SF at Travis AFB. So, we were looking for ways to use the BART and MUNI public transportation systems. Searching on the Web was informative in leading me to the Clipper Card. A few phone calls and I was informed where I could purchase one at a location close to us (20 miles) and how to go about loading it.
If you are traveling to the San Fran area and want to use the public transportation system, here is what I found out.
Find a place near where you are staying that issues a Clipper Card immediately after you sign up for the card. Go to the BART station and use the machine to populate your card with money. There is a $20 normal button or you can add $1 increments (even smaller) to a desired amount.
Here's the kicker. Researching the web site you will find that there are (I am going to assume you are seniors) different rates. There are even different rates for Seniors, such as, there is a monthly MUNI rate of $22, or there is a 1 day, 3 day, and 7 day pass for $17, $22, and $27 respectively. Now my mind says that the $22 monthly pass is a more viable option, versus a $27 fee for only 7 days (visitors you know) I had the $20 loaded, took the BART to the Embarcadero Station and talked to the agent to get the $22 monthly pass figuring we would only use it for 4 days or so but it was a better deal. This is the 26th of the month and the agent said we could get the monthly pass but it would not be valid until the 5th of the month. Oops! We're leaving before then by about 3 days.
The solution: One can use the money populated on the Clipper card on the MUNI system also. There is no need to get a 1, 2, 3 day or monthly pass if all one is going to do is visit for 2, 3, 4 days or so. The clipper card is accepted on all the BART and MUNI systems and it will deduct the amount directly from the card as you use the system. Our trip today from North Concord/Martinez to the Embarcdero Station, then a MUNI bus trip to china town, a trolly from Fisherman's Wharf to the Embarcadero Station and a ride back to North Concord cost each of us $5.05. Cheap travel day.
Consider traffic, gasoline, and stress level - It was worth it. Highly recommend the public transportation at a price that meets your requirements. If you have anything left on the card, save it for when you come back to see the rest of the things you missed. The Clipper Card is good for life. (So they say)
p.s., the above prices are based on an age of 65 or older.
Wayne MSGT USMC (Ret) & Earlene (CinCHouse)
2008 Winnebago Destination 39W
It is what it is, and then it is what you make of it.