Skip to main content

Fare Change FAQs 2020

Fare Change FAQs 2020

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Why are Clipper fares lower than cash fares?
A: Clipper fare collection is more efficient and greatly reduces bus boarding times. Keep using your Clipper card for the best value or consider getting one for convenient fare payments and deep discounts.

Q: How do I obtain or order a Clipper card?
A: Adult Clipper cards and most AC Transit passes are available at Walgreens, Whole Foods and other participating retailers. Cards can also be ordered online or by phone. For information on how to obtain a discounted Youth, Senior, or Disabled (RTC) Clipper card, click here. Once you have your card, cash value can be added at retail locations and all BART stations.


Q: What is a Day Pass and when does it expire?
A: The Day Pass is good for unlimited local rides from time of issue until 3:00 a.m. When using your Clipper card, the Day Pass will be activated on the third trip after $5.50 in fares has been deducted, or $2.75 for Youth, Senior, Disabled customers. Subsequent trips will be free when you tag upon boarding.

Q: How do I decide if I should buy a Day Pass or not?
A: If you are paying cash and only taking two trips during the day, you will not need a Day Pass. Just pay the Single Ride fare on each trip. But if you will be taking three or more trips, buy a Day Pass. When using Clipper, just tag your card, and your third trip will automatically activate the Day Pass.

Q: Where can I buy a Day Pass?
A: You can buy the paper Day Pass when boarding if you are paying with cash at the farebox. On Clipper, the Day Pass will activate on the third ride, when the cost of the Pass has been reached.

Q: I work the night shift (11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.). How can I ensure my Day Pass covers my daily commute?  
A: Buy your Day Pass when boarding the bus at 7:00 a.m., and use the same Pass to get to work at 11:00 p.m.

Q: What if the cash I have for the Day Pass does not total $5.50?
A: The bus operator deducts a Single Ride fare and issues a Refund Voucher for the remainder. You will need to send the voucher, along with a Claim Form, to the AC Transit Treasury Department, 1600 Franklin St., Oakland CA 94612 to receive your refund within two weeks. You can use the Form you receive from the bus operator, or you can access it on our website. You cannot reuse the voucher on the bus.


Q: If my trip requires a local bus and a Transbay bus, what is the total cost?
A: When you use Clipper for payment or a Pass (Day, Monthly, or 31-Day), the total fare will be equivalent to the Transbay Single Ride fare of $6.00 for Adults and $3.00 for Youth/Senior/Disabled riders. If you purchase a Single Ride fare in cash, you must pay the full fare on each bus. See below for more details on how/when to pay the fare.

Q: Can I use a Pass for Transbay trips?
A: Yes, you can use all paper and Clipper Passes, and pay the upgrade fare for Transbay.

Q: Can I use Clipper for one ride, and then use cash to pay the upgrade fare for Transbay?
A: No, cash and Clipper payments cannot be combined. If using cash, each fare must be paid in full or combine a paper Pass/RTC monthly sticker with a cash upgrade on Transbay.

Q: When I transfer from a local trip to Transbay service, do I pay fares for both trips?
A: You tag your Clipper card or Pass on your local ride to pay for the local fare. When boarding a Transbay bus, tag your card again and the upgrade fare will be automatically deducted. The upgrade fare for Clipper users is $3.75 for Adults and $1.88 for Youth/Senior/Disabled riders.

When you purchase a Day Pass with cash, swipe the pass on your local trip, and pay the upgrade fare on the Transbay bus. The cash upgrade fare is $3.50 for Adults and $1.75 for Youth/Senior/Disabled riders. The upgrade cash fare for customers with RTC monthly stickers is $1.75.

Q: When I need to transfer from my Transbay line to a local one, do I pay a fare on both buses?
A: Tag your Clipper card to pay the Transbay Single Ride fare, then tag again after you board for local service. If the tags occur within two hours, you do not need to pay the local fare. If you board the local bus after the two-hour window, you use Clipper cash to pay the local fare.

Riders with RTC monthly stickers must show their sticker to the Transbay bus operator and pay the upgrade cash fare of $1.88. If you are combining Transbay fare with a Local Day Pass, you can purchase the Pass, plus the upgrade cash fare, from the operator on the Transbay bus.

Q: When I transfer from Transbay to local, can I buy the Day Pass on the Transbay bus and then purchase the upgrade fare?
A: Yes, you can use cash for this transaction. You may want to do this if you plan to take three or more local trips after the Transbay trip. Tell the operator you want to purchase a Day Pass and pay the upgrade fare.

Q: Does the Transbay Clipper fare apply toward the Day Pass?
A: 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 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: Can I use a Transbay bus for a local trip?
Local riders are allowed on Transbay lines F, NL, O and 800, but not on others. You must inform your driver before paying your fare – the driver will change the farebox or Clipper reader to deduct the proper local fare amount.

How to ride local on a transbay bus:
1) Choose a transbay line that allows local riders.
2) Inform the driver that this is a local ride BEFORE paying your fare or tagging your Clipper card.
3) Wait for the driver to reset the farebox or Clipper card reader, then tag your card or insert your cash fare.

Visit the INTER-AGENCY TRANSFER CHART for complete details.

Q: I take BART and then transfer to a bus. Are there transfers/discounts?
A: When using Clipper, a $0.50 discount is automatically applied on the bus trip away from BART only.

Q: How does the BART-to-Bus transfer work with a Day Pass?
A: When you use Clipper, the discounted BART-to-Bus fare applies toward the Day Pass. For example, the bus fare to BART would be $2.25, and the bus from BART would cost $1.75 with the transfer discount. If you took a third bus, only $1.00 would be deducted to bring you to the $5.00 threshold for the Day Pass. Clipper does these deductions automatically to ensure riders always pay the lowest price.

Q: How do I transfer from AC Transit to another transit provider, like VTA or Union City Transit?
A: Ask your AC Transit bus operator for an Inter-Agency Voucher and give it to the bus operator when boarding on your second trip. Click here for a list of other agencies that honor AC Transit vouchers.

Q: If I transfer from another transit provider to AC Transit, can I show your bus operator my SolTrans or WestCAT transfer, and get a free ride?
A: For a complete list of transfers, visit the INTER-AGENCY TRANSFER CHART. Please review whether transfer payments can be made with Clipper, paper vouchers, or both.

Q: My trip includes rides on both AC Transit and Dumbarton Express (DBX). What does that cost? 
A: Transfers to and from the Dumbarton Express work the same as other AC Transit transfers and upgrades. You can view complete information about the DBX fares at