BART completes systemwide conversion to Clipper-only sales


BART completes systemwide conversion to Clipper-only sales

BART has successfully transitioned all stations to offer Clipper as the only fare product available for purchase. BART has been eliminating the sales of paper tickets since August of 2019 when a 4-station pilot program was launched. The conversion was accelerated during the pandemic with one or more stations transitioned each week throughout 2020. Systemwide conversion was fully completed the week of December 7th.

This effort is part of BART's 15-Step Plan to welcome riders back to a more contactless experience in the era of COVID-19.

Touchless Experience

BART is working to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Using Clipper helps this effort by allowing riders to avoid direct contact with fare gates, as the card only needs to be held over the fare gate card reader without touching. Riders can further protect themselves from contact with fare machines by loading funds onto their Clipper card online, allowing up to one day for the balance to post. For registered users, the Autoload feature will automatically replenish their Clipper balance.

While paper tickets will no longer be available for purchase at stations, riders are still able to use paper tickets to enter or exit through fare gates.  Riders are also able to add enough fare to a paper ticket to exit the station using add fare machines located inside the paid area.

Clipper Benefits

BART has moved to a Clipper-only fare payment system because the region has prioritized the use of Clipper as the Bay Area’s all-in-one transit card administered by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. In addition to being contactless, Clipper has many advantages over paper tickets:

  • Clipper saves money. Adult paper tickets have a 50 cents surcharge on every trip, which equals $1.00 per round trip. With a one-time acquisition fee of $3.00 for a Clipper card, it pays for itself in just 3 roundtrips.
  • Clipper is reusable and long-lasting, unlike paper tickets that get worn and tattered.
  • Clipper is accepted by nearly all transit agencies in the region. Many other agencies offer discounted fares when using Clipper.
  • Riders can set up their Clipper card account to reload automatically
  • The loaded value on the Clipper card is secure when it’s registered. If you lose the card, the balance can be replaced for a nominal fee.
  • The tag in and out system allows Clipper card users to move through fare gates faster.
  • Clipper cards can be purchased at every BART station and at many retail outlets throughout the region.
  • Paper tickets can jam our fare gates, so Clipper usage means more open fare gates, shorter lines and less fare gate maintenance.
  • Clipper usage reduces the paper waste of the magstripe tickets in the BART system.

Customers can use Clipper anonymously. Clipper cards do not require registration. Registration is required for added benefits such as Autoload and balance protection.
To get Clipper online, find in-person locations, or details about obtaining a discount card for Senior, Disabled or Youth 18 and under, please go to

Paper ticket refunds

While riders are still able to use paper tickets to enter or exit through fare gates we understand some may want to refund their paper tickets since the balance can't be transferred to a Clipper card.

BART will refund paper tickets with a remaining value greater than $1.00. 

Riders have 2 options for getting a refund:

1) A Station Agent can help process a ticket refund request. The agent will have you fill out a form and you will provide the agent with your ticket(s) and the agent will send it to BART Treasury. Treasury will mail you a check. This option helps you avoid paying for postage. The refund may take 4-6 weeks to process.

2) Mail the ticket(s) to BART's Treasury Department. Include your name, phone number, and return address and note that you are seeking a refund of your paper ticket(s) due to BART's elimination of paper ticket sales.

Mail it to:

BART Treasury Department
P.O. Box 12688, Oakland, CA 94604
22nd floor
Attention: Ticket Refunds

BART’s Treasury Department will then process the refund. You will get a check in the mail at the address you provide. The check may take 4-6 weeks.

Tickets purchased using pre-tax dollars/Commuter Checks are not refundable due to federal restrictions of the Commuter Check program

For more information, call the BART Treasury at (510) 464-6841.

For more information, visit