Using Clipper on Caltrain

You can use Clipper to pay for rides on Caltrain by adding a Monthly Pass or cash value to your card. See the Fares and passes page for more information on the types of value available.

You must always have $1.25 in cash value on your card, even if you are using a Monthly Pass to pay your fare.

Tag Your Card

  1. Find the Caltrain Clipper card reader at the station or platform.
  2. For assistance finding the reader with audio signals, listen for a low beeping sounding at 15-second intervals.
    Listen to a sample of the tone.
  3. Hold your card flat against the Clipper logo on the reader.
  4. Wait for the beep and green light.* Here is what the beep sounds like when you have tagged successfully:

*When you tag, if the balance on your card is $2 or less after the maximum fare is deducted, the reader will beep twice, and display a yellow light and a “low balance” message. You can board the train, but be sure to tag off at your destination and add value to your card. The reader will beep three times and display a red light if you have not paid a valid fare, and you will not be able to board with your Clipper card.

Tag Off

When you reach your destination, tag off by repeating the steps above.

When you tag off, you will hear a different beep than you did when you tagged on. Here is what the tag-off beep sounds like:

You must tag off within four hours, or you will be charged the maximum one-way fare from your starting point. If your trip involves riding on more than one train in the same direction, do not tag off until you have completed your entire one-way trip.

Important: The Caltrain system requires you to have a cash value balance of $1.25 in order to tag on, even if you have a Monthly Pass. If you are paying with cash value, you must tag on and off for each ride. If you are using a Monthly Pass, you only need to tag on and off for your first ride of the month.

Find additional information on how to use Clipper and ways to add value. Clipper also works with a variety of transit benefits programs.

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Service Center

Phone: 877.878.8883
TDD/TTY: 711 or 800.735.2929
Fax: 925.686.8221

Mon – Fri: 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sat – Sun: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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