The Bay Area transit system is what could be compassionately referred to as a “clusterfuck.” SFMTA, AC Transit, Samtrans, Caltrain, Golden Gate Transit, BART, to name a few of the agencies that immediately come to mind. That’s not counting the agencies that run busses and light-rail further down towards Palot Alto, etc.

Navigating this mess was once incredibly painful, until the Clipper-messiah came and saved us, sort of. If you’re familar with London’s Oyster Card, or Tokyo’s Suica card, Clipper is conceptually similar but what either of those systems would be like if implemented by the lowest intoxicated bidder.

I have issues at least once a week, usually with busted card readers, but today when attempting to add money to my card via a credit card, I saw this:

Clipper, r u 4 real?

You might think to yourself “dialing a host? wat!” And you would be right in your confusion, but this is genuinely what Clipper add-value kiosks show you when you attempt to use a credit card.

That however was not today’s issue! Today, both kiosks were stuck on “dialing a host..” for about 3-4 minutes, and then the kiosk simply rebooted. A PC BIOS screen showed up, and some OS started to boot.

I gave up and left.

It’s amazing how slow and tedious the future is.