BART operates using a tag-on/tag-off system; therefore, when entering or leaving a station you need to tag your card so the appropriate fare can be automatically deducted from it.
BART offers discounts to senior, youth, and disabled passengers. A Clipper START means-based card can be obtained online or from any transit agency in person.
What is a Clipper Card?
Clipper is a contactless smart card designed to speed up boarding times, eliminate cash carrying needs, and take advantage of discounts across Bay Area transit systems – including BART! Valid across major transit providers.
Use either a physical plastic card or the free Clipper app on your iOS or Android phone when beginning and ending your trip – the correct fare will automatically be deducted at each fare gate.
Youth, senior, or disabled riders can receive discounts by applying for a Clipper Youth, Senior or Disabled card online, in person at a transit ticket office, by mail, or enrolling in autoload. With autoload, your card can be linked directly with either your bank or credit account in order to automatically replenish its value with either cash value or transit passes – once set up, its balance should reload itself once its balance reaches $10 or your pass expires automatically!
How do I get a Clipper Card?
Clipper cards provide an easy, flexible and reliable payment option for bus, train and ferry travel. Simply touch your card or device (with app open) against a reader to tag on and wait for its beep indicating acceptance; to tag off, hold your card nearer the reader when exiting and hold against its sensor again when leaving.
To obtain a Clipper card, visit any transit agency, the Clipper website or contact your local customer service center. Seniors may qualify for free Senior Clipper Cards by showing valid identification such as birth certificates or passports, state-issued driver’s licenses with dates of birth attached or military dependent cards that show dates of birth.
Clipper card can be loaded with cash value online, at transit agencies or retailers, BART ticket machines and Add-Value machines, or Add-Value machines. A plastic card costs $3; mobile clippers such as Apple Wallet or Google Wallet allow free additions.
Where can I get a Clipper Card?
Clipper Cards are convenient, cost-cutting payment cards for Bay Area transit agencies that hold transit passes, cash value and parking value. Ideal for budget backpackers seeking to save money with daily or weekly passes.
Apple Pay or Google Pay (for smartphones), as well as in person at County Connection and Wheels Bus Shop ticket offices as well as some parking garages is how the card can be obtained. New plastic adult cards cost $3; if ordered online and set up autoload payments then that fee can be waived; discount cards are available for youth, senior and RTC/disabled riders.
This card can be used on San Francisco’s Muni system of buses, light rail Metro trains, historic streetcars and cable cars in one transport network. Furthermore, Ford GoBike bike share scheme operates within Bay Area cities, with membership starting from just $2 per ride or $15 monthly membership fees.
Can I ride BART without a Clipper Card?
BART is a regional transit system in San Francisco and beyond, running trains beneath its streets as well as to its suburbs. If you plan on using BART, make sure that you get yourself a Clipper Card; these can be obtained either at vending machines within stations, or loaded on smartphones using Apple Pay or Google Pay (with no upfront fee required).
Add-on cards offering discounted transit passes are also available to youth (5+), seniors, and people with disabilities, but can only be obtained in person by showing valid ID or proof of eligibility. When registering online for EZ Rider Parking with credit/debit card and serial number you can purchase an inexpensive Clipper Card as a discounted transit pass option.
To use your Clipper Card, just tap it on the reader as you enter and exit a station, and your fare will automatically be deducted. Please ensure you tap both times or risk incurring a fine for fare evasion.
Chris is a passionate learner and writer. When he’s not working on his blog or learning something new, he’s a full-time systems administrator and father of two beautiful girls. Chris loves spending time with his family, reading, writing, and playing hockey.