The current section is News & Media
News Release

Kids Planning Back-to-School Transportation Can Only Get VTA Monthly Youth Pass on Clipper®

Oakland, CA — With school just around the corner, Clipper® is encouraging Santa Clara County students to get a free Clipper Youth card in order to continue taking advantage of discount fares. By obtaining a Clipper Youth card, youths ages 5 to 17 can purchase a Youth Monthly Pass from Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), available only on Clipper, for $45. The single-ride cash fare is $1.75, so the pass offers a significant discount for those who ride VTA daily to get to and from school.

VTA eliminated paper monthly passes on July 1. Now the only way VTA student customers can secure a monthly pass is to load it on the reloadable, all-in-one Clipper card. 

“We would like to see more students take advantage of the discounts available on Clipper,” said MTC Commissioner, Santa Clara County Supervisor and VTA Board Member Dave Cortese. “Not only is Clipper more convenient, but students who ride VTA regularly can save quite a bit of money each month by loading the VTA Youth Monthly Pass on their Clipper cards instead of paying for each trip with cash.”

Youths can apply for Clipper Youth cards at the VTA Downtown Customer Service Center, 2 North First Street in San Jose (at Santa Clara Street) and at the VTA River Oaks Administrative Offices at 3331 North First Street, also in San Jose (at River Oaks Parkway). Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.weekdays at the Downtown Center, and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays at the River Oaks offices. See other locations for applying for youth Clipper cards here.

Youths or a parent or guardian must bring a completed Youth Clipper card application in person along withany one of the following proofs of age:

  • Birth certificate
  • School ID with birth date
  • Passport
  • Medical benefit card with birth date
  • State-issued driver’s license
  • State-issued identification card
  • Military Dependent ID
  • Matricula Consular/Consular Identification
  • Alien Registration/Permanent Resident Card


Youth card applications can be downloaded from or obtained at the two VTA customer service locations.

Clipper outreach staff can also come to school sites to accept Clipper Youth card applications. if you are interested in requesting a visit to your school.

Clipper is a reloadable card that allows transit riders to load cash value and monthly passes over the phone, online at, and at a variety of retail locations, including most Bay Area Walgreens stores. By September, customers also will be able to load value at VTA light-rail ticket machines. Customers also can set up their accounts online to automatically load cash value or monthly passes using a credit/debit card or bank account. 

Clipper offers convenience by keeping track of passes, discount tickets, ride books and cash value that customers load onto it, while applying all applicable fares, discounts and transfer rules. The Clipper card can hold multiple fare media specific to the transit system being used, as well as up to $300 in cash value at one time. Since Clipper cards can be registered for added security, customers whose cards are lost or stolen can have their card replaced and balance restored for a fee. 

In addition to VTA, Clipper is now accepted for payment on eight other public transit systems in the Bay Area: AC Transit, BART, Caltrain, Golden Gate Transit & Ferry, SamTrans, San Francisco Muni, San Francisco Bay Ferry (on limited routes during the introductory period), and the Dumbarton Express. Cash value loaded onto the Clipper card can be used on any of these participating systems.

Bay Area transit riders now board with the Clipper card nearly 15 million times a month, and nearly 1.2 million Clipper cards are in circulation.

“Only 10 percent of youth pass holders in Santa Clara County have made the transition to Clipper so far,” said Carol Kuester, Clipper program manager for MTC. “We’re really making a push in August to sign up the rest, so they can take full advantage of the discount available to them.”

For more information, please call Clipper Customer Service at 877-878-8883, TTY/TDD or visit

Clipper is a project of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.


Brenda Kahn, (415) 778-6773

Lysa Hale, 510-325-7319

Brandi Childress, 408-464-7810