7 On Your Side gets MTC to change rules for stolen Clipper cards

MENLO PARK, Calif. (KGO) -- Thanks to a Seven On Your Side report, Bay Area transit riders no longer have to pay when a thief uses their Clipper card.

Seven On Your Side got transit officials to change the rules so you are no longer responsible for charges made on your stolen card. But customers have no way of knowing that except by hearing this story.

Bruce Mirken is still bristling over his ordeal with clipper.

It all began when he lost his wallet on a BART platform. Mirken quickly canceled his credit cards and clipper card but later found out someone rode all day on his clipper card - after he canceled it! What's more, Mirken had to pay the fares.

VIDEO: San Francisco man held responsible for stolen Clipper card charges

"I found out the hard way that, in fact, the thief gets to use your card all day and it's on you," said Mirken.

Turns out the small print in the Clipper agreement says a cardholder is responsible for charges until the end of the day a card is reported lost or stolen.

Clipper admits its computer system is outdated. It can't immediately shut off the card for all 28 transit agencies that accept it

Seven On Your Side took this issue to Dave Cortese, Chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. It changed the rules. As of this year, each transit agency will waive fares charged to stolen cards.

VIDEO: San Francisco man victorious after charged for rides from stolen Clipper card

However, you would never know that by looking at the cardholder agreement. It still says customers are responsible for stolen rides!

Clipper spokesman John Goodwin says the policy really has changed. You will not pay for stolen rides. However, you won't see that in the agreement until they figure out a Chinese translation.

Clipper says it counted only eight times this year that a thief took free rides on a stolen Clipper card. And in every case, Clipper says it refunded the real cardholder for those fares.

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.
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.