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May 22, 2012 > VTA going paperless

VTA going paperless

Over 80 outreach events planned to help customers transition to Clipper

Submitted By Brandi Childress

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) will be going "paperless," replacing the old, disposable paper transit passes with the regional Clipper card. Starting July 1, 2012, all VTA monthly pass users will be required to pay for rides on VTA bus and light rail using the re-loadable, all-in-one "smart card." Customers are encouraged to obtain their Clipper card as soon as possible to avoid long lines or potential delay in processing applications.

Clipper offers added convenience by keeping track of passes, discount tickets, ride books and cash value that customers load onto it, while applying all applicable fares, discounts and transfer rules. The Clipper card can hold multiple fare media specific to the transit system being used, as well as up to $300 in cash value at one time.

In addition to allowing customers to pay for transit throughout the entire Bay Area using just one card, Clipper cards are environmentally friendly since they can be used indefinitely, unlike the paper pass which expires in 30 days. Also, since Clipper cards can be registered for added security, customers can have their card replaced and balance restored if the card is lost or stolen.

In the coming weeks, VTA staff and the Clipper "Street Team" will be at various locations throughout Santa Clara County to help customers with the transition, distributing free adult Clipper cards, answering questions and helping eligible customers apply for a Clipper youth or senior card.

The same process will be necessary for Senior Pass holders after May 16, 2012. Clipper youth and senior cards are specially encoded to automatically calculate the discounted cash fare each time you use Clipper. The age range for a youth pass is between 5 and 17 years old, while the minimum age for seniors is 65 years old.

For a complete list of outreach events, visit or to find a location near you. To download an application for a Youth or Senior card and see a list of acceptable forms of identification to bring to a ticket office or outreach event, visit The application cannot be submitted by mail or fax; it must be submitted in person or it will not be processed.

Customers can acquire Youth, Adult and Senior Clipper cards at the VTA Downtown Customer Service Center and at the VTA River Oaks Administrative Offices. Clipper retailers, including Walgreens, sell Adult Clipper cards and also have the ability to add value to any valid Clipper card. A complete list of retailers is available online at

For more information, call VTA's Customer Service at (408) 321-2300, TTY (408) 321-2330; or visit or call Clipper Customer Service at 877-878-8883.

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