SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Commuters setting sail with the Clipper transit fare card now have two convenient ports in downtown San Francisco — on the concourse level of the Embarcadero BART/Muni station and at the Bay Crossings store in the Ferry Building — where they can not only pick up a new card or add value to an existing card but also use transit benefit vouchers or transit benefit debit cards to load value onto their Clipper card, exchange a damaged or defective card for a new one, or get a personalized senior or youth card. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), which oversees the Clipper program, plans to unveil more Clipper customer convenience centers in the months ahead, with the next one set to open in downtown Oakland later this year.
“Expanding the capabilities of these high-volume Clipper retail locations is part of MTC’s effort to make Clipper’s customer service operations faster, easier and more convenient,” said Jon Rubin, the San Francisco Mayor’s appointee to the Commission. “We’re bringing Clipper to the commuters, so they can take care of business on their way to work or home. Longtime customers can even stop in and exchange their old TransLink card for a brand new Clipper card.”
The process of establishing full-service customer convenience centers at the transit kiosk in the Embarcadero station and at the Bay Crossings store in the Ferry Building involved equipment upgrades to handle the wider range of transactions. Seniors and youths seeking Clipper cards, for instance, need only bring the required age documentation to either location and complete a card application. The well-trained staff will then process the application, take the customer’s photo and issue a senior or youth card on the spot. Thereafter, youths and seniors can add value online, at the kiosk, or at any of the other participating ticket offices or retail establishments.
Staff at the Clipper kiosk and at the Bay Crossings store also have been trained to answer questions about the Clipper program, which functions differently on different transit systems.
MTC launched the all-in-one, reloadable Clipper card in June 2010 with six participating transit systems — AC Transit, BART, Caltrain, San Francisco Muni, Golden Gate Transit and Ferry, and Dumbarton Express. SamTrans began accepting Clipper for fare payment in December 2010 and Santa Clara County’s Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) jumped aboard earlier this month. There are now more than 625,000 active Clipper cards in circulation around the region, and weekday trips taken by Clipper now average 374,000, up almost 500 percent from the level at the launch in June 2010.
The Clipper kiosk in the Embarcadero BART/Muni station is open weekdays from 5:45 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Bay Crossings store in the Ferry Building is open from 6:45 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
The Clipper card is named for the clipper ships of yesteryear, which accelerated travel to San Francisco during the Gold Rush era. In keeping with the nautical theme, the blue-and-white card features a cluster of stylized sails.
MTC is the transportation planning, coordinating and financing agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.