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The original item was published from 8/29/2019 2:55:15 PM to 1/1/2021 12:00:03 AM.

News Flash

News Flash

Posted on: August 29, 2019

[ARCHIVED] BART is Moving to Clipper-Only

BART is Moving to Clipper-Only

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) will be expanding the number of stations where the only fare product that will be available for purchase is the reusable, re-loadable, and regionally-accepted Clipper card.  They will start with four pilot stations - Downtown Berkeley, 19th Street, Powell and Embarcadero - in Summer 2019, and rolling out systemwide in 2020.

  • Clipper saves money.  Adult paper tickets have a $0.50 surcharge on every trip.
  • Clipper is reusable and long-lasting.
  • Clipper has balance protection when registered in case you lose it.
  • Clipper is accepted by all transit agencies in the region.

To learn more, go to

Clipper FAQ

Where can I buy a Clipper card?
All BART Stations have Clipper vending machines which accept cash, credit cards and debit cards as payment. You can add cash value to Clipper cards at all BART ticket machines. Clipper cards can be ordered online at Many retail outlets throughout the region also sell Clipper cards.

How do I use Clipper?
When you get to the fare gate, simply “tag and go” to pay for your ride. The correct fare will automatically be deducted. You must tag your card during every station entry and exit.

How much does a Clipper card cost?
There is a one-time $3.00 acquisition fee for a Clipper card. Clipper will waive this fee if the buyer signs up for Autoload at the time of purchase online at Youth and senior cards are free.

Can I buy a discounted Clipper card?
You can get a 6.25% discount on BART rides ($45 for a $48 ticket or $60 for a $64 ticket) when you load BART HVD (High Value Discount) tickets on your adult Clipper card. HVD tickets are only valid for fare payment on BART. HVD tickets can only be loaded to your card through Autoload and participating transit benefit programs. You cannot purchase HVD tickets at Clipper retailers or Customer Service Centers, transit agency ticket offices or ticket machines. The HVD balance on your Clipper card cannot exceed $250. Clipper offers discount cards for youths and seniors. Riders with disabilities may also receive a discount card through the Regional Transit Connection (RTC) program.

How many Clipper cards can I buy at once?
Clipper cards are dispensed one card per transaction. Multiple Clipper cards can be purchased with cash using multiple individual transactions. A credit card can be used up to two times over two days, up to a rolling two-day limit of $103 to purchase more Clipper cards individually and to load value on your Clipper card. You can use a debit card three times per day to purchase Clipper cards individually, so you can purchase a maximum of three Clipper cards in a day with the same debit card.

Is there a maximum balance for a Clipper card?
The maximum amount of cash value that can be stored on any Clipper card is $300.

What are the rules for using cash to buy a Clipper card at a Clipper vending machine?
When adding cash value to Clipper cards in the BART system, only $20 bills and less are accepted. The machines give up to $4.95 in change maximum.

Is there a minimum balance for a Clipper card?
You must have $2.00 in HVD ticket value or cash value on your Clipper card to enter the BART system unless you are entering a San Francisco station with a Muni "A" Adult Fast Pass on your card. (Minimum cash value requirement is $1 for youth and 75 cents for senior and RTC customers.) Customers who are eligible for discounted fares can add any amount of cash value to their Youth, Senior or RTC Clipper card. Clipper automatically calculates and deducts the discounted fare from the cash balance on an eligible card when you exit the BART system.

How does autoload work and how do I sign up for it for my Clipper card?
Once autoload is set up, Clipper will automatically add value to your card whenever your cash value balance or BART High Value Discount ticket balance falls below $10. You can sign up through the Clipper website via this link

Can I use my Clipper card to pay the fare of a person traveling with me?
Clipper cards are for individual use. Each rider 5 years of age or older must have his/her own card.

Will I still be able to pay for my BART fare with magstripe paper tickets?
While magstripe paper tickets are being phased out at our stations, riders will still be able to use paper tickets to enter or exit through select fare gates. Riders will also be able to add enough fare to a paper ticket to exit a station using add fare machines located inside the paid area of each station.

How do I get a refund of the balance on my magstripe paper ticket?
Customers can claim a refund for a magstripe ticket with a remaining value of $2.00 or more. A Station Agent will help process a ticket refund request. Tickets can also be mailed along with the reason for the refund request to: Refunds, BART Treasury Department, P.O. Box 12688, Oakland, CA 94604-6841. BART’s Treasury Department will then process the refund. For more information, call BART Treasury at (510) 464-6841.

Will I still be able to purchase the red paper tickets (for disabled/students) and the green paper tickets (for seniors)?
Yes, the discounted paper tickets will still be available for purchase at the Lake Merritt Station BART Customer Service Center, the Clipper Customer Service Center at the Embarcadero Station and at San Francisco International Airport terminals. The tickets will also still be available by mail.

Will BART still issue paper tickets for school-sponsored field trips?
Yes, the discounted blue tickets will still be available for purchase through Group Sales.

Do I have to give out any personal information to use a Clipper card?
No, customers can use Clipper anonymously. Clipper cards do not require registration. Registration is suggested for added benefits such as autoload and balance protection.

Why should I use Clipper?
Clipper is accepted by nearly all transit agencies in the region and saves money. Adult BART paper tickets have a 50 cents surcharge on every trip, which equals $1.00 per round trip. With a one-time acquisition fee of $3.00, a Clipper card pays for itself in just 3 roundtrips. Clipper is reusable and long-lasting, unlike paper tickets that get worn and tattered. Clipper allows riders to set up accounts that reload automatically so they won’t have to wait in line at add fare machines. Clipper card users also receive automatic discounts when transferring between BART and many other transit providers. Golden Gate ferry riders and Muni riders get 50 cents off when transferring to and from BART.

Why is BART shifting to a Clipper-only system?
The region has prioritized the use of Clipper as the Bay Area’s all-in-one transit card administered by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Clipper has many advantages over paper tickets. Clipper offers balance protection when registered. Riders can set up their Clipper card account to reload automatically so they won’t have to wait in lines to add value. Paper tickets can jam our fare gates, so Clipper usage means more open fare gates, shorter lines and less fare gate maintenance. Clipper usage also reduces the paper waste of the magstripe tickers in the BART system.

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