How to Get a Clipper Card
Clipper is the most convenient way to pay for most Bay Area public transit. You can order a Clipper Card online and wait up to 10 days for delivery or buy one at most Bay Area Walgreens or Whole Foods locations. There is a $3 charge for the card but that fee is waived if you set up your card to “autoload” new funds from your credit or debit card when you purchase your Clipper card.
There are various options for your Clipper card account. The easiest, though it doesn’t provide any form of discount, is to put a certain amount of cash value onto it, so that you “tag” the card on trains, buses, ferries, streetcars, etc. where you see the Clipper logo and your fare is deducted. However, you can also add discounted passes specific to each system. For instance, BART is the most heavily used: a subway-like system with a station that is 5 minutes’ walk from the Delaware Apartments. The BART pass discount is modest (6.7 percent) with a $48 value pass selling for $45 and a $64 pass for $60.
There are much better discounts (more than half off for most transit options) for the disabled, seniors (65+) and youth (5-17) but photocopies of ID (seniors) or birth certificates (youth) must be mailed in along with an application form to get a specific youth or senior Clipper card. For the disabled, proof of a qualifying disability must be presented at an in-person application at a transit agency office. If you are disabled and 65 or older, the senior Clipper card is easier to acquire and provides the same discount.
It is important to note that if you only have a BART pass on your Clipper card account, and no cash value or pass specific to another transit agency, you will not be able to tag it to pay your fare on other modes of public transport like San Francisco’s MUNI, the East Bay’s Alameda Transit buses or the cross-bay San Francisco Ferry, which stops in Oakland, Alameda and two points in San Francisco.
Once you have a Clipper card, it can be managed at clippercard.com with login information (an email address and password) by clicking on the far right tab that says “Login.”
For more information about Clipper, visit clippercard.com or call the Customer Service Center at 877-878-8883.