Clipper in Three Easy Steps

For a seamless and stress-free experience on SMART, use a Clipper card. It’s the fare collection system used by most of the Bay Area’s transit services including Marin Transit, Sonoma County Transit, Santa Rosa CityBus, Petaluma Transit, Golden Gate Transit and Ferry, BART, Muni, and Caltrain. Riders with a Clipper card get transfer discounts between SMART and partnering transit agencies. SMART’s 31-Day Pass is only available through a Clipper card as well. Ride like a transit pro by following these three easy steps:

Step One: Get a Clipper card

Regular adult Clipper cards can be purchased for $3 through fare machines at all SMART stations or online at Discount Clipper cards for youth and seniors are not available at SMART stations. Youth and senior discount cards are available with proof of age at participating transit offices. You can also apply for a youth or senior discount Clipper card through an online PDF application at For passengers with disabilities, a discount Clipper card is also available. Please visit the Clipper website to learn about the Regional Transit Connection (RTC) Clipper card.

Step Two: Load your card with fare

Fare machines are located at every SMART station and accept credit cards, debit cards, and cash. Please keep in mind, the fare machines do not provide change. Also, make sure to always arrive early for your train, especially if you need to purchase a Clipper card or load a cash value or a pass to your card.

Cash value and passes can also be loaded online when you register your Clipper card. For a truly worry-free experience, signup for Autoload on the Clipper website and never worry about having enough fare on your card. Autoload automatically reloads your card by charging your debit or credit card when your balance is below $10 or when a pass expires.

Step Three: Tag on, enjoy the ride, and tag off

Using your card is simple. SMART is a zone-based system, and fares are determined by how many zones you travel through. To ensure you are charged the correct fare and the correct transfer discounts are applied, riders must tag on before boarding the train and tag off as they exit the station at their destination. To tag your card, simply find the Clipper card reader on the SMART platform, hold your card flat against the Clipper logo on the reader, and wait for the beep and green light. It’s that easy, and quick.


Bonus Pro Tip: Register your card at If a registered card is lost or stolen, cash value and passes can be transferred to a new Clipper card.