As an Electrical Engineering student in college, we had a classroom assignment to design, build, and program a card reader using standard, off-the-shelf parts. It a regular, junior-year class where students had 1 week to complete the assignment in Lab. Granted, these were read-only cards, but hey, this was back in the 1980’s.
Meanwhile, the brainiacs at MTC headquarters have been spending 1 decade (and over $100 million) doing what any Junior-level college student could accomplish in 1 week. With the public (and transit planners) growing increasingly disgusted with that record of performance, MTC is proposing to re-brand the technology:
TransLink, the oft-delayed regional one-stop transit card, is going through a re-branding process.
With the universal card expected to pass a number of major milestones this year, including its implementation into both the Valley Transportation Authority (Santa Clara County) and SamTrans systems, the folks behind the plan think it’s a good time to reintroduce the technology with a new name and a fresh spin. Plus, a bunch of transit agencies are already using the generic-sounding TransLink for other purposes.
An early recommendation by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which oversees the Translink program, is to rename the card Clipper, which apparently, will evoke memories of the fleet-moving Clipper ships from the days of yore.
In fact, the word Clipper will evoke memories of “Clippy” — the handy, dandy Microsoft Assistant widely reviled by users as intrusive and annoying. What better word to parody MTC technological incompetence?