Frequently Asked Questions – July 2014 Fare Policy Change
Check back often, as this FAQ will continue to be updated with new information. If you have any additions to suggest, please let us know through our Customer Feedback Form.
Q: Are fares going up?
A: No. Cash fares are not changing–still $2.10 for adults and $1.05 for youth, seniors, and disabled at the farebox. And, better yet, Clipper users will get a discount on single ride fares and the price of the adult local 31-day pass (available on Clipper only) will go down to $75. See complete information on what’s changing (and what’s not).
Q: Why are you getting rid of local transfers?
A: Moving from a transfer system to a Day Pass system will speed up boarding and keep service running more on schedule. The new Day Pass will be more convenient and offer greater value to our passengers.
Q: Why are you giving discounts to Clipper users?
A: Getting more passengers using Clipper is one of the best ways to speed up boarding and keep the buses on schedule. The discounts on single-ride fares, the reduction in the Local Adult 31-Day Pass price, and the fact that the Day Pass activates automatically are three great new incentives to use Clipper. Even passengers who don’t use Clipper benefit from others who do, since keeping the bus moving is what everyone wants!
Q: What is a Day Pass and how do I buy one? How long can I use it?
A: A Day Pass is good for unlimited local rides from time of issue until 3:00 a.m. When using Clipper, it is automatically applied on the third trip (when $5.00 in fares has been deducted, or $2.50 for youth, senior, disabled). Subsequent trips will be free when you tag upon boarding. A paper Day Pass can be purchased at the farebox with the exact fare of $5.00 or $2.50.
Q: How do I figure out if I should buy a Day Pass or not?
A: If you are only taking two buses during the day, you won’t want to buy a Day Pass. Just pay the single fare on each trip ($2.10 + $2.10). But if you’ll be riding three or more buses, then definitely buy a Day Pass ($5.00). You’ll start saving money on that third ride. With Clipper, just tag your card–you don’t have to think about it ahead of time because it automatically activates a Day Pass on your third trip.
Q: I need to take two buses to get where I’m going. What should I do when there are no more transfers?
A: If you take two buses to get to your destination, and then two buses back home, a Day Pass is the best value. Using Clipper, the Day Pass is automatically activated on the third bus. If you’re paying cash, buy the Day Pass on your first trip of the day so you get the most use and value. Without a Day Pass, you’ll pay full fare on each bus–and that’s $8.40 for those four buses!
Q: Sometimes I’m able to get my errands done and get back on the bus to go home within the two-hour transfer window–so my round trip costs me just $2.35. What will happen with the fare change?
A: You will pay the full fare for each bus (or if you’re going to ride three or more buses that day, you’ll want to buy a Day Pass). “Round-tripping” with a single fare and a transfer won’t be possible.
Q: I go to work at 11:00pm and get off work at 7:00am. Will the Day Pass still work for me since it expires at 3:00am?
A: You’ll want to buy your Day Pass when you board the bus after work at 7:00am, and then use that same Day Pass to take the bus to work at 11:00pm.
Q: Can I buy Day Passes ahead of time?
A: No. The Day Pass is only available at the farebox (if you’re paying with cash) or on Clipper (just keep cash on your card and it loads automatically).
Q: What if the cash I put in the farebox for a Day Pass doesn’t quite total $5.00?
A: The bus operator will deduct a single fare ($2.10) and issue you a “Refund Voucher” for the remainder. You’ll need to send the voucher, along with your name and address, to AC Transit Treasury Dept., 1600 Franklin St., Oakland CA 94612, to receive your refund within two weeks. (Or you can use a form your bus operator will give you, which is also downloadable here.) You cannot reuse the voucher on the bus.
Q: I take a local bus and then catch a transbay bus (and vice versa). Will there still be a free transfer between the two within two hours?
A: Yes, but only when using Clipper (paper transfers at the farebox will not be available). Because the local Clipper fare is discounted, the local-to-transbay trip will be deducted as $2.00 + $2.20 to make the full $4.20 transbay fare. If you’re paying with cash, you’ll need to pay the full local fare ($2.10) and then the full transbay fare ($4.20)–definitely another reason to get Clipper!
Q: Can I use my Day Pass for transbay trips?
A: The Day Pass is good for unlimited local rides but not transbay. But you can add the $2.10 transbay upgrade ($1.05 for youth, senior, disabled) for your transbay trip by swiping the Day Pass and adding cash to the farebox.(You must do this every time you use your Day Pass and travel transbay.) When using Clipper, this is done automatically and the upgrade will be deducted from the cash balance on your card. The upgrade with Clipper is $2.20 for adults ($1.10 for youth, senior, disabled).
Q: Will the transbay fare I pay with Clipper apply toward the local Day Pass?
A: No. Only local fares apply toward the Day Pass. From the East Bay to San Francisco or the Peninsula, the fare on the local bus applies toward the Day Pass, but the upgrade fare on the connecting transbay bus does not. In the other direction, your whole fare is paid on the transbay bus and no fare is deducted on the connecting local bus; therefore, nothing is applied toward the Day Pass.
Q: I take BART and transfer to a bus. Will there still be discount transfers?
A: Yes. If paying cash, there’s no change from today–give the “From BART” portion of your two-part transfer to the operator for the $0.25 discount (same applies with the “To BART” portion on your return trip to BART). But with Clipper, a $0.50 discount will be automatically applied on the bus trip away from BART only.
Q: How does the BART-to-Bus transfer work with the Day Pass?
A: If using Clipper, the discounted BART-to-Bus fare applies toward the Day Pass (i.e., the $1.50 that’s deducted when you take the bus after you’ve taken BART). If paying cash at the farebox when you transfer from BART, you can either use the paper BART-to-Bus transfer to get a $0.25 discount on your single bus fare, or you can buy a Day Pass for $5.00/$2.50. There is no discount on the Day Pass price.
Q: I often transfer from AC Transit to another agency like VTA or Union City Transit. I’ve always just shown the other bus driver a paper transfer to get on. What happens when I can’t get the transfer?
A: Ask your AC Transit bus driver for an “Inter-Agency Voucher.” It takes the place of the transfer for this purpose. Just show it to the other agency’s bus driver and you’ll be able to board.
Q: I live outside the AC Transit service area but sometimes transfer from another bus agency to AC Transit. Can I still show your bus operators my SolTrans or WestCAT transfer, for instance, and get a free ride on AC Transit?
A: Yes. Nothing is changing for customers transferring to AC Transit from another agency. The one exception is Dumbarton Express (DBX): Because its fare policy mirrors AC Transit’s and is also changing, DBX paper Inter-Agency Vouchers will not be accepted on AC Transit, and AC Transit’s Inter-Agency Vouchers will not be accepted on the DBX. See more DBX details.