This is part rant, part genuine request for advice.
By way of background, my one-way commute from del Norte to Embarcadero is $3.80. Because the fare is a random amount, I am usually left at the end of the month with "orphan tickets," which is my name for a ticket with not enough $$ on it to go anywhere, but certainly more than I want to donate to BART (which is anything above a nickel). Normally with my orphan tickets, I will add on the exact amount necessary to get the ticket to $3.80, use it for a one-way ride, and be done with it.
This month, I was left with a $1.00 double-whammy orphan ticket that is also demagnetized. I have been resisting dealing with this situation, because BART's answer to the demagnetized orphan is to ask for the ticket plus four dollars, and give me a $5 ticket. One ride later, I have a $1.20 ticket, solving the demagnetization but not the orphan issue.
As I often do at the beginning of the month, today I went to the Embarcadero station to cash in my commuter checks for high-value BART tickets. I took with me my $115.00 in commuter checks, four dollars, and my $1 impotent orphan ticket, hoping to get two newly minted and working $64 tickets. I know it is hard to imagine a woman going anywhere without an entire satchel, but I didn't bring anything else, including my wallet.
The man at the ticket counter informed me that BART recently changed its policy and that old BART tickets can no longer be combined with commuter checks for high-value tickets. My only option, he said, was to pay him $5.00 along with my commuter checks to get the two high-value tickets, then another $4.00 with the defunct orphan to get -- you guessed it -- a $5.00 ticket which will be an orphan in its own right by this evening. Needless to say, I walked away miffed and without working BART tickets.
Which brings me to my real question to any BART management personnel who may be reading this: ARE YOU TRYING TO DRIVE ME CRAZY?!?!? If the new policy is about being sure that you capture more revenue (under your agent's proposal, I pay $5 plus $4 plus, after this evening, $2.60 for a grand total of $11.60 instead of the $4 I was proposing), you can forget about that, because I will donate my paralyzed orphan to one of those groups that is always asking for low-value BART tickets.
But more importantly, what gives? I spend most of my time on BART miserable, either because I am crammed in like a sardine, the train is filthy, someone is yelling on their cell phone, my train to work is late, or any combination of these. Why do you also seek to make me mad while I am not even on a train?
Seriously, what was the reason for the "change" in policy?