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Getting a "refund" on Santa Clara County VTA

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Well - not exactly a refund.

 

VTA light rail ticket machines can be used to add to the Bay Area's Clipper Card system. They also give change in $1 coins. I needed both and have figured out how to get maximum change in these coins, which I use for transit and (sadly enough) parking meters.

 

However, this was the first time I got something other than a $1 coin. It was a British 2 pence coin, which is a bit under the size of a US dollar coin. It's worth maybe 5 cents.

 

il_340x270.351275603.jpg

 

So I'm out a dollar, it's my lunch break, and I've got nothing better to do than complain. I call in the VTA customer service, punch 0 for operator, and get in touch mentioning that I was out a dollar because there was a foreign coin loaded in the dollar coin hopper. I leave my name number address and finally get a call back apologizing for the issue and asking if I take VTA often enough (I do but most of the time I take Capitol Corridor and use their free transfer). They offer me one free ride and ask if my address on file is correct.

 

Just saw it in the mail today. More or less a form letter apologizing for the issue, and a VTA single ride token (never seen one before) taped to the letter. I'm not sure if I should use it or keep it as a souvenir. I think I can just use one of these to get a day pass. Found an image on the web:

 

Vta%20tokens.jpg

 

I guess it was only a dollar, but I spent a lot of time trying to get this issue taken care of.

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Sounds like VTA Customer RelYions does a good job of responding to customer complaints! I'd hold on to the British Coin and the token as keep sakes!

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I always used credit cards to load my Clipper cards, even when I used a machine. No reason to let those few points get away.

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Thanks for reminding me of the CT-NY token wars...

 

Was that the turnpike toll tokens that seemed to work on the NYC Subway fare gates? I recall hearing about that.

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Sounds like VTA Customer RelYions does a good job of responding to customer complaints! I'd hold on to the British Coin and the token as keep sakes!

 

I dunno. Once I accidentally tagged on with a Clipper Card on VTA light rail like I was riding MUNI in San Francisco. Over there, you've got 90 minutes, and it won't dip into a new fare until those 90 minutes are up - no matter how many times it's tagged on MUNI. I wasn't sure about VTA and tried it on light rail. Turns out that every time it's tagged on at a station, it assumes a new 120 minutes starts and a new fare begins, although I believe they do max out daily at the value of a day pass ($6). So I tagged it on less than 10 minutes apart, and I got charged another $2. I work fairly close to VTA HQ and went to customer service there. I was told they couldn't do anything about it. I just wish they could reprogram the machines to recognize that it's on the same fare for 120 minutes.

 

So I suppose this day pass makes up for both the $1 and that extra fare. Still not quite sure what to do with this token. I usually take Capitol Corridor with the free transfer.

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Thanks for reminding me of the CT-NY token wars...

 

Was that the turnpike toll tokens that seemed to work on the NYC Subway fare gates? I recall hearing about that.

 

Yeah...and the turnpike tokens cost a lot less. Hilarity ensued, and CT ended up having to pay NYC about $375,000 in the end.

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Once I accidentally tagged on with a Clipper Card on VTA light rail like I was riding MUNI in San Francisco. Over there, you've got 90 minutes, and it won't dip into a new fare until those 90 minutes are up - no matter how many times it's tagged on MUNI. I wasn't sure about VTA and tried it on light rail. Turns out that every time it's tagged on at a station, it assumes a new 120 minutes starts and a new fare begins, although I believe they do max out daily at the value of a day pass ($6). So I tagged it on less than 10 minutes apart, and I got charged another $2. I work fairly close to VTA HQ and went to customer service there. I was told they couldn't do anything about it. I just wish they could reprogram the machines to recognize that it's on the same fare for 120 minutes.

VTA and Muni do tag the same. They're both single-entry.

 

The difference is that Muni automatically gives you a transfer good for ninety minutes; if you pay cash, they give you a paper proof of purchase/transfer. VTA doesn't do transfers because they have day passes.

 

I guess I question why you would tag multiple times before boarding transit. Except for a few narrow cases with double-entry, there's no advantage.

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I always used credit cards to load my Clipper cards, even when I used a machine. No reason to let those few points get away.

We were in Boston a few days ago. Bought MTA tix at $2.10 each using AGR card for the two of us. Couldn't figure out how to buy them both on one transaction. Then when they didn't work, I realized we had bought bus, not train price so we had to put $.55 on them (using same card). Four transactions. (apparently we could have put 2 trips on one ticket but that was not clear to us).

 

Then we went down to the Charlie Store and got our Senior passes. When I tried to put the money on those with the CC, it was declined. Apparently they don't like you putting too many transactions on a single card in a short amount of time.

 

But, hey, that's 5.3 Amtrak points! Ka-chink!

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Once I accidentally tagged on with a Clipper Card on VTA light rail like I was riding MUNI in San Francisco. Over there, you've got 90 minutes, and it won't dip into a new fare until those 90 minutes are up - no matter how many times it's tagged on MUNI. I wasn't sure about VTA and tried it on light rail. Turns out that every time it's tagged on at a station, it assumes a new 120 minutes starts and a new fare begins, although I believe they do max out daily at the value of a day pass ($6). So I tagged it on less than 10 minutes apart, and I got charged another $2. I work fairly close to VTA HQ and went to customer service there. I was told they couldn't do anything about it. I just wish they could reprogram the machines to recognize that it's on the same fare for 120 minutes.

VTA and Muni do tag the same. They're both single-entry.

 

The difference is that Muni automatically gives you a transfer good for ninety minutes; if you pay cash, they give you a paper proof of purchase/transfer. VTA doesn't do transfers because they have day passes.

 

I guess I question why you would tag multiple times before boarding transit. Except for a few narrow cases with double-entry, there's no advantage.

 

 

I understand the deal with MUNI, but I was under the impression that it worked the same way on VTA. It did not.

 

However, VTA is very different. There - light rail is considered a separate system than their buses. A MUNI fare is theoretically good for up to 90 minutes travel anywhere in their system, except for cable cars. A VTA light rail fare is also theoretically valid for 120 minutes in any direction while on the light rail system. Of course it's the same system if one has a day or monthly pass, except for express buses.

 

As for why I tagged when I got off, it was just to see what happened. It wasn't really explained well and I thought it would do something like acknowledge a free transfer.

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However, VTA is very different. There - light rail is considered a separate system than their buses. A MUNI fare is theoretically good for up to 90 minutes travel anywhere in their system, except for cable cars. A VTA light rail fare is also theoretically valid for 120 minutes in any direction while on the light rail system. Of course it's the same system if one has a day or monthly pass, except for express buses.

 

As for why I tagged when I got off, it was just to see what happened. It wasn't really explained well and I thought it would do something like acknowledge a free transfer.

You're just piling misconception on misconception.

 

Light rail and buses are the same system on VTA. I don't even know where you get this idea that they aren't.

 

A muni fare isn't "good" for ninety minutes. It just comes with a free transfer, so that your next ride within the ninety minutes is included.

 

In both systems you have to have a valid tag in order to pay fare. For Muni Metro and VTA light rail, you have to tag before boarding the train; for buses, you tag upon entry.

 

If you were confused, you should have asked.

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However, VTA is very different. There - light rail is considered a separate system than their buses. A MUNI fare is theoretically good for up to 90 minutes travel anywhere in their system, except for cable cars. A VTA light rail fare is also theoretically valid for 120 minutes in any direction while on the light rail system. Of course it's the same system if one has a day or monthly pass, except for express buses.

 

As for why I tagged when I got off, it was just to see what happened. It wasn't really explained well and I thought it would do something like acknowledge a free transfer.

You're just piling misconception on misconception.

 

Light rail and buses are the same system on VTA. I don't even know where you get this idea that they aren't.

 

A muni fare isn't "good" for ninety minutes. It just comes with a free transfer, so that your next ride within the ninety minutes is included.

 

In both systems you have to have a valid tag in order to pay fare. For Muni Metro and VTA light rail, you have to tag before boarding the train; for buses, you tag upon entry.

 

If you were confused, you should have asked.

 

 

Revisiting an old thread, but since I'm here. VTA buses are considered single ride without transfers. The light-rail system allows 2 hours in any direction, which obviously means on-off at will during those 2 hours. Using Clipper will ensure that only a $6 maximum day fare can be debited. I don't know if you can still buy a full system day pass from the light rail ticket machines.

 

http://www.vta.org/getting-around/fares

There are no transfers on VTA so a single ride must be paid for each route. If your travels require 3 or more lines a day pass on Clipper® is needed.

A one way light rail ticket is valid for 2 hours in any direction (light rail only)

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