Why the 2-ID card system sucks

bus-ethan-epstein-file
Ethan Epstein/File

You went to go pick up groceries on College Avenue and see the 51B in the distance. Despite the doubts you’re feeling about making it to the bus before it leaves, you decide to sprint to the stop while simultaneously rummaging through your backpack to pull out your pass. After feeling a deep sense of pride for your short marathon run to the bus, the bus driver kindly says, “I’m sorry, that is not your AC transit card.” What happened to the good old days when your transit pass was just a little sticker on your Cal ID? Sweat drips down your back as you have to walk home with four groceries bags in hand.

Who thought that having a separate ID for AC Transit and UC Berkeley was a good idea? I think it’s needless to say that this system is flawed.

When the two-card system debuted this fall, the whole school buzzed with excitement. Rumors spread around the entire school saying that UC Berkeley students would have free access to BART with the new “clipper card” addition. Students piled in lines excited to get their new unlimited BART card, but were ultimately disappointed once they learned that the card had to be loaded with your own money!

Not only was everyone upset that we weren’t, in fact, getting free BART cards, but the school also realized that we now would have to remember two ID cards when we leave the house. As if not losing the original ID was not a challenge enough, we now had to be responsible for two! Probably 97 percent of the student body lost their AC Transit card by the third week of school.

On top of it, it’s one extra piece of plastic we have to fit in our silicone iPhone wallets that we got for free at Calapolooza. Everyone knows you can’t fit more than three cards in the back of those cheap things. It would’ve been nice if the campus considered this before getting rid of our beloved AC Transit stickers.

Plus, isn’t UC Berkeley supposed to be eco-friendly? We have about five different types of trash cans to separate our lunch into, but apparently the school is okay supporting the mass production of thousands of transit cards. Not cool, guys.

While we were aware that the original AC Transit card system was flawed because the sticker could fall off within the first month, we students were quite innovative in dealing with this issue: We simply placed tape over it — who knew we could come up with such a elaborate solution?

But seriously, UC Berkeley, get yourself together and condense everything back into one card. We aren’t responsible enough for two!

Contact Allison David at [email protected].