SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) --A 7 On Your Side report brought about a new protection for Bay Area transit riders and now Clipper cards are now a little more secure.
There were plenty of hurdles, but now Clipper has posted a new cardholder agreement. Transit riders will no longer have to shell out money if a thief goes joyriding on their cards.
Bruce Mirken never did replace his stolen Clipper card. He was too upset. "I said goodbye to this and closed down my account," he said.
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Mirken's trouble began when he lost his wallet on a BART platform. He immediately canceled his credit cards and his Clipper card, but then there was a shock.
"I was being made to pay $22 for completely bogus charges run off by a thief," he said.
It turns out a thief was able to ride buses and trains all day long on his stolen Clipper card. What's more, Clipper said he had to pay for all the rides.
"And I was astonished," Mirken said.
Clipper pointed to the cardholder agreement, saying customers are responsible for payments made with their cards until the end of the day they are reported lost or stolen.
"I mean, in what parallel universe is that alright?" Mirken asked.
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7 On Your Side took the issue straight to the top, to chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission Dave Cortese.
"People have been victimized by having criminals running around for 24 hours with their Clipper cards, running up fares," Cortese said,
He took the issue to the full commission, which then voted to change the rule. Now, consumers won't pay for the joyrides. Instead MTC member transit agencies will absorb the fraudulent charges. It took a year to get all the agencies on board, but now it's official.
The new Clipper agreement says customers are only responsible for payments "until the time" they report a missing card.
RELATED: 7 On Your Side gets MTC to change rules for stolen Clipper cards
"I'm so glad they finally did the right thing and I do appreciate Channel 7 for keeping after it," Mirken said.
Clipper is planning to update its old computer system, so someday it will instantly block use of stolen cards, just like banks do for credit cards. However, officials admit that could take years.
If you've gotten cited for fare evasion even though you paid, let Michael Finney know. Click here for how to contact 7 On Your Side.