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News Release

Supply Chain Pressure, Delivery Delays Imperil Clipper®'s Plastic Card Inventory

BART, MTC Urge Residents and Visitors to Put Clipper on Their Phones
Ron Purdy
Alicia Trost, BART 510-464-6154
John Goodwin, MTC 415-778-5262

BART and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) encourage travelers to put a Clipper® card on their mobile phones because global supply chain issues have once again severely depleted the inventory of plastic cards. Clipper is available for mobile phones through either Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Clipper through at least the end of this year will waive the standard $3 new card fee for customers who choose either of the mobile options for their new cards. The $3 fee will be charged to customers who opt for a traditional plastic Clipper card.

Adding a Clipper card to Google Pay, and Apple iPhone 8 or later or Apple Watch Series 3 or later is easy. Apple customers can add the card directly through Apple Wallet and load cash value with Apple Pay anytime, anywhere. Customers with Android system phones running Android 5 or later similarly can add the Clipper card directly through Google Wallet and load cash value anytime, anywhere. For more information and frequently asked questions, visit

BART, which is by far the largest distributor of new plastic Clipper cards, has installed signs near ticket vending machines at its stations to let customers know they can save $3 by putting Clipper on their mobile phones. BART also has temporarily reprogrammed ticket vending machines at its San Francisco International Airport station to issue old-style paper tickets instead of plastic Clipper cards. Clipper cards may still be refilled and used at the station, but only paper tickets will be sold.

While the acute shortage of plastic Clipper cards is expected to continue for several months, customers who use fare-discount cards such as those for seniors, youths, the Clipper START® program for lower-income adults, or the RTC Clipper card for disabled riders under age 65 need not worry about dwindling inventories. These special-purpose cards are distributed directly by Clipper and produced on a different card stock.

MTC is the transportation planning, funding and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. MTC operates the Clipper system on behalf of the region’s transit agencies. 

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