Get a Clipper, It’ll Save You Money

Bus fares for AC Transit were raised on January 1, 2020, for the Adult, Youth, Senior, and Disabled single ride cash fares. However, switching to a clipper card rather than paying as you ride can help riders save during their daily commutes.

Robert Lyles, Media Affairs manager of AC Transit, confirmed that although single ride cash fares have gone up, clipper cards offer a discount. 

Adult prices were raised from $2.35 to $2.50. Youth, seniors, and disabled fares were raised from $1.15 to $1.25. With the clipper card, adults can save ten cents from the previous pricing, paying $2.25. Youth, seniors, and disabled fares can save up to 13 cents. This makes the single-ride fare $1.12.

Lyles also added that “AC Transit also conducted significant public outreach six months in advance of the fare change — specifically intended for riders to offer their feedback on any proposed changes. We also conducted a Title VI Equity Analysis. This analysis specifically seeks to determine if fare changes create disproportionate impacts on low-income populations and people of color. The Title VI Equity Analysis determined that the July 1, 2019 fare change would not cause an adverse impact.”

Natasha Larsen is 18 years old and attends Chabot College. Luckily for her, she only has to pay youth prices for the bus. Adult pricing begins at the age of 19. When asked if she was aware of the single-ride cash fare raise, she replied that she had no idea. Larsen buys the day pass at $2.75, allowing her to ride the bus as many times as she needs within that day.

I asked Larsen why she doesn’t use a Clipper Card, since it eliminates the use of having to carry cash, and you can reload it at the BART station. She replied, “Every time I go to BART, I’m usually running late, I don’t have time to actually set anything up.” 

It is possible to set up youth discounts with a clipper card through applications that must be sent in via email, mail, or fax.

I asked Larsen If it’s an inconvenience, she stated, “Kind of. As someone who’s in a rush a lot, it’s hard for me to get around to it. But then I never do because as soon as I get home, my mind is off of all that stuff.”

The BART’s official YouTube page “BARTable” has a simple two-minute video on how to reload your card at the station. Clipper has created not just several ways for their customers to get a hold of a card, but also several ways to get discounts.

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