June 11, 2010 By News Report
San Francisco's largest public transportation agency -- the Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) -- will start phasing out paper passes this summer and turn to plastic smart cards.
The cards -- currently known as TransLink, but will be renamed next week to Clipper -- automatically track and grant a rider's transfers and applicable discounts, according to a TransLink frequently asked questions page on the subject.
The cards are equipped with an internal chip and will be read by sensors on the California Bay Area's many public transportation services -- the Municipal Railway (Muni), the Ferry, Golden Gate Transit, Caltrain and Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).
The card is an "all-in-one transit card that can hold everything you need to ride any participating Bay Area transit service passes, discount tickets, ride books and e-cash," according to TransLink.
The current, colorful paper Fast Pass has become an iconic piece of some California Bay Area commuters' lives and old passes have even been turned into works of art.
Online Fast Pass sales will end after June 22, and the paper passes will be phased out in October, so customers must load them on a Clipper card starting Nov. 1.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.