Clipper update: It’s still not worth it to switch 

After thoroughly reviewing the Clipper card website and seeing that the card will now pay for parking at BART stations, I finally took my most recent $120 worth of Commuter Checks down to the Montgomery Street ticket exchange to add the high-value discount BART values I normally get, to a modern new Clipper card. Next, I was going to the EZ Rider website to order a parking hangtag.

To my great disappointment, I was told that the system will not allow the operator to add the high-value discount values to a Clipper Card with paper Commuter Checks. The only way to receive the extra discount was via the website. But there is no way to use paper Commuter Checks online.

In other words, it will cost me an additional $8 per month to use the Clipper Card, or $96 a year, to use my $120-a-month Commuter Checks. Using the advanced new card is not worth $96 per year to me. And that figure would be $192 a year if you receive the maximum vouchers allowed per month.

I absolutely will not — and I encourage others not to as well — sign up for this program until it offers real advantages over the current system. The $1.25 left on some of my $64 BART cards adds up to far less than $96 — and I can donate those cards’ value to schools if I do not combine them at a ticket exchange.

Please make this worth it to the everyday commuter and fix the program. When you fail your customers, you fail yourselves.

Chuck Baldwin


Don’t follow Christie’s lead

A letter in Tuesday’ paper suggests that newly sworn-in Gov. Jerry Brown “follow the lead of New Jersey’s courageous governor.”

Heaven forbid! Gov. Chris Christie rejected $3 billion in job-producing, congestion-reducing federal transit funds, combined with an additional $3 billion in Port Authority of New York and New Jersey funding to build a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River to Manhattan.

Brown appears off to a good start in tackling the $28 billion deficit (through June 2012). It will be up to voters to show support for his austere, hot dog approach by supporting the tax extensions we can expect to see on the spring ballot.

Irvin Dawid

Palo Alto

Last bit of political mischief

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s decision to reduce the prison sentence of Esteban Nunez is an outrage.

This despicable act is an affront to the people of the state of California and is a classic example of irresponsible government behavior. Former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez’s political and business connections are the only reason his son will be released earlier from prison than our state justice system had determined to be fair.

Schwarzenegger and Fabian Nunez owe the people of our state an apology and should, provided either one has a decent conscience in this case, do what is necessary to have this egregious decision undone immediately.

David Cervantes

La Crescenta

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