Payment Systems in Bay Area Transit are Brain Damanged

BART, Muni and CalTrain all have different ticketing systems. This is brain damanged. Allow me to break the problem down for you. Muni owns a third of CalTrain, with the rest belonging to San Mateo Transit District and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. BART is a cross county transit authority thing. BART has their stored value style paper cards, Muni has $1.25 single fare tickets (which, mind you, don’t apply to the Muni run cable cars) and CalTrain has single trip, 10-ride and monthly passes. Notice how they’re all different? This is totally brain dead. What’s worse is the four stations in downtown SF that Muni and BART share: switching between them is a ticketing headache. How hard would it be to have an integrated fare system to let people move across the entire Bay Area? I’m not even asking for other agencies, like SamTrans or VTA or Golden Gate Transit. There are too many agencies fighting over this and it’s leaving the public at a disadvantage. Even the bridges have a unified system under FasTrak. Unless the state steps in and does something about this, it’ll continue to be brain damaged.