Using Clipper to Pay Your Fare

Using Clipper is the most convenient way to pay your fare when riding the ferry. It's as easy as tapping on and tapping off and transfers are automatically included if you are going between the ferry and another major Bay Area transit provider.

What is Clipper?

Clipper is the all-in-one transit card accepted on all major transit agencies throughout the Bay Area. Clipper is available in card form or via an app on your Apple or Android mobile service. Clipper fares for San Francisco Bay Ferry are lower than buying paper tickets and provide access to transfer discounts on Muni, AC Transit and SolTrans.

How to Get Clipper

Clipper on Your Mobile Device 

Download the Clipper app on our mobile device and select an amount of cash value or transit pass you want to load. Choose payment method and complete the order. Once you've added value to your Clipper account, you will be able to tag on and tag off using your device. With the Clipper app, manage your account, load value, change your settings anytime and more. Learn more about getting started and using the Clipper app here. 

Purchase a Clipper Card

Purchase an Adult, Youth or Senior Clipper card or load value on any card at select locations around The Bay. When purchasing a new Clipper card in person, a fee of $3 will be charged. Additionally, make sure to register a new card upon purchase in case it is stolen or damaged in any way. Learn more about managing your Clipper card and account here. 

Using Clipper on San Francisco Bay Ferry 

Your Clipper Card must be loaded with value prior to use. You must have a minimum balance equal to the one-way Clipper fare for your route and fare category. Clipper automatically figures out the cost of your ride, including all discounts and transfers, when you tag on and tag off. 

Tag On and Tag Off 

The ferry uses a two-step Tag On/Tag Off system. To board the boat you tag on by holding your Clipper Card flat against the card reader located at the dock. If using a mobile Clipper to tag on or off, have the Clipper App open and hold the screen of your phone over the clipper reader. A single beep will let you know when your card has been accepted. When you exit the ferry, tag off at a card reader at your destination terminal. A double beep will let you know you've successfully tapped off at your destination. In the event that card readers are not present at your terminal (such as Pier 41), ferry employees will assist you with hand-held card readers. 

Clipper Discounts

Discount Cards

San Francisco Bay Ferry provides additional discounts for those with the following discount Clipper products:

  • Senior Clipper: Riders 65 and over can apply for a Senior Clipper Card and receive discounted trips. Learn more
  • Youth Clipper: Riders aged 5-18 can apply for a youth Clipper Card by verifying date of birth. Learn more
  • RTC Clipper: Discounted trips for people with qualifying disabilities. Learn more
  • Clipper START: Discounts ranging between 20% to 50% off your trip depending on the transit agency. Learn more

Transit Transfers

You can receive discounts on connecting transit agencies using Clipper and tagging as directed. When using San Francisco Bay Ferry before or after one of the following transit agencies, Clipper keeps track of your rides and automatically grants you appropriate transfer discounts if applicable. If another transit agency requires a different fare, Clipper will automatically do the math and charge your Clipper account accordingly. 

  • Muni: $0.50 discount
  • AC Transit: Discount equal to local bus fare
  • SolTrans: Discount equal to local bus fare

Clipper FAQ

General Questions 

What is Clipper?

Clipper is the all-in-one transit card accepted on participating ferry, bus, and train systems throughout the Bay Area. 

is Clipper available on my mobile device?

Yes, Clipper is available through the Clipper app on Apple and Android mobile devices. Learn more here.

What is Clipper START?

Clipper START is a pilot program to provide single-ride discounts to eligible riders who meet certain income requirements. Learn more here.

Using Clipper

Can I used Clipper on any San Francisco Bay Ferry Route?

Clipper is accepted when riding any San Francisco Bay Ferry route with the exception of special event service such as Oracle Park or Chase Center ferry service.

Why do I need to tag off when I exit the ferry?

San Francisco Bay Ferry charges fares based on distance or zones. When you board or tag on, you are charged the maximum fare, and when you tag off, the difference between the maximum fare and the fare you should pay is credited to your card. Tagging off guarantees that you will only be charged for the distance that you travelled. 

Can I use Clipper to pay my fare on a reservation-only ferry trip to Oracle Park or the Chase Center?

No, tickets for reservation-only ferry trips to Oracle Park or the Chase Center must be purchased separately through our ticket sales portal. Buy gameday ferry tickets here. 

Can I use Clipper to pay for me and another person?

No, only one person can be associated with one Clipper account/card. 

Payment / Other Questions 

How much does Clipper cost?

For a physical Clipper card, there is a fee of $3 at the time of purchase. You can avoid this fee by ordering a card online and setting up autoload.  Learn more here. 

How do I get a refund if Clipper overcharges me?

For refund assistance, please contact Clipper at (877) 878-8883. You can also email Clipper at


Do I need a minimum balance on my Clipper to ride San Francisco Bay Ferry?

Yes, in order to board a San Francisco Bay Ferry, you must have a minimum balance equal to the one-way Clipper fare for your route and fare category. 

Can I add value to my Clipper account at a ferry terminal?

No, we currently do not have Clipper machines at our terminals. However, you can visit any one of the Clipper retailers to add fare, purchase a Clipper card and more. The most convenient location for most ferry riders is Bay Crossings in the Ferry Building next to the Downtown San Francisco Ferry Terminal.

How do I add value to my Clipper account?

To add value to your Clipper card, open your mobile wallet on your phone. Your mobile wallet will display purchase options for your selected Clipper card. Select your Clipper card and then choose an amount to add to your Clipper card, then select 'Add.' You can also add value through the Clipper app. Click here to learn more. 

Does Clipper track my location?

No. While Clipper does not track your exact location, once you tag on or off at a terminal, Clipper will register that you have passed through that terminal. 

Is my fare when using Clipper the same price as other means of payment (Cash, Passage: Transit Ticket)?

Clipper fares are equivalent to mobile ticket fares and cheaper than paper ticket fares.

How can I update my Clipper account payment information?

You can manage your account using the Clipper app and in your mobile wallet. You can add value, see what's on your card, and see recent transactions. Learn more here.

Does my Clipper expire?

No, Clipper never expires.