RTC Card & Accessibility

If you are disabled and under 65, you can use the RTC Clipper card as an ID card to show you are eligible for disability-based discounts, or you can load value to your card and use it to pay your fares.

You can load cash value, which is accepted on all transit agencies, or passes, and you can even load a combination of cash value and passes. You can load value in person at a participating retailer, a self-serve machine or a staffed location, and you can use your value right away. You can also order value online or by phone, but it may not be available to use for a few days. If you want the security of knowing you have value on your card, set up automatic reloading with a credit or debit card or a bank account. Clipper will reload your card whenever your cash value balance is below $10 or your pass expires.

To use your card, locate the Clipper card reader and tag it by holding it flat against the Clipper logo, which is also indicated by raised lines. The card reader will be inside the door of a bus or streetcar; at the Muni or BART fare gates; on the Caltrain, SMART or VTA platform; or at the ferry terminal. On the cable car, the conductor carries a handheld card reader. Caltrain provides locator tones to help find the card reader at train stations. If you are traveling on a transit service that charges based on distance or zones (BART, Caltrain, Golden Gate Transit bus service, Marin Transit, San Francisco Bay Ferry, SMART and Sonoma County Transit) you will need to tag your card again at the end of your trip.

You may want to set up an online Clipper account, which makes it easier to manage your card. You can set up automatic reloading from your credit card or bank account and also get a history of your card use. Setting up an online account is optional, but it’s easy. Just call Clipper Customer Service at 877.878.8883 (TTY/TDD 711 or 800.735.2929).

For questions about the status of your RTC card application, call any of the transit agency offices listed at 511.org.Opens in new window

To request a balance transfer, please contact Clipper Customer Service at 877.878.8883 (TTY/TDD 711 or 800.735.2929). Note we can only transfer cash value. Monthly passes and discount tickets cannot be transferred.

You should try to use the balance on your card before the last day of the month the card expires. However, you can request any remaining cash balance be transferred to your new card by calling Clipper Customer Service at 877.878.8883 (TTY/TDD 711 or 800.735.2929). Partially used passes and tickets cannot be transferred.

The RTC Discount Card program, which issues RTC Clipper cards, no longer provides cards to riders 65 and over. Once a customer is 65, they are eligible for a Senior Clipper card, which does not expire and offers the same discounts as those offered with the RTC Clipper card.

To contact our Customer Service Center by phone, callers who are deaf or hard of hearing or who have a speech disorder can dial 711 or 800.735.2929 to reach the California Relay Service (CRS) and ask to be connected to the Clipper Customer Service Center at 877.878.8883. Learn more about placing a CRS call. Opens in new window. Once connected, the CRS operator will act as a go-between, relaying the caller’s requests for information to a Clipper customer service representative.

All transit agency and Clipper self-serve machines are audio-equipped. When you tag your card to a self-serve machine or insert your card into a Clipper Add Value machine, the machine will read your current cash value balance. You can also have staff at a transit agency ticket office, Clipper Customer Service Center or participating retailer read the balance on your card.

You can also log in to your online Clipper account or call Clipper Customer Service at 877.878.8883 (TDD/TTY 711 or 800.735.2929), but the card balance information may not reflect your trips from the past 24 hours.

When you tag your card to pay a fare, the reader will beep twice if the balance on your card is $2 or less after the fare is deducted. If you set up Autoload, Clipper will automatically add value to your card whenever your cash value balance is below $10 or your transit pass expires.

Transit agency and Clipper self-serve machines are equipped with an audio button and a headphone jack that allow persons with visual impairments to listen to instructions for using the machine. The machines also include Braille labels.

To assist passengers with visual impairments, Caltrain has introduced tone locators to the Clipper card readers. The readers will emit a beeping sound every 15 seconds, which can alert passengers with visual impairments to where they can tag their Clipper card. The locator beeps will have a lower decibel level and tone than the beeps that indicate whether a person has tagged on or off at the Clipper card reader. Listen to a sample of the tone. Opens in new window

If you require an alternate format of one of our printed pieces, please contact the Metropolitan Transportation Commission Public Information Office at 415.778.6757 or email clipper@bayareametro.gov.

We have designed this site to be compatible with screen readers. Alternate text image tags accompany most images on our site, so images should be readable if your browser supports the alt-text function. If a page has an online form or document that is not accessible and/or you would like to request an alternate format, please contact the Metropolitan Transportation Commission Public Information Office at 415.778.6757 or email clipper@bayareametro.gov.

At this time, we are actively working to be compliant with current accessibility standards, including Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Although we continue to test and modify our Web applications for accessibility, there will undoubtedly be times when new or existing pages are not fully compliant with evolving standards. If you have any trouble accessing content on this site, please contact us and we will work with you to correct the problem. Please contact us at clipper@bayareametro.gov.