How to Use Clipper on San Francisco Bay Ferry


San Francisco Bay Ferry customers can now use Clipper Cards on all SFBF routes (with the exception of our special AT&T Park service). Clipper is the all-in-one transit card accepted on participating ferry, bus, and train systems throughout the Bay Area.

The Clipper Advantage

In addition to the convenience of a universally accepted transit card, adult Clipper customers receive a discount for using Clipper instead of cash. See the fare tab on each schedule page to find the discounted Clipper fare. Passengers with a Youth, Senior or RTC Clipper card receive the same 50 percent discount they do when paying with cash.

Using Clipper on San Francisco Bay Ferry

Your Clipper Card must be loaded with E-cash to work on the ferry. 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.

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 on the dock. Wait for the beep and green light, then board. When you exit the ferry, tag off at a card reader at your destination terminal. At San Francisco’s Pier 41, a ferry employee will help you tag on and off with a handheld card reader when boarding and exiting. Tagging Off ensures Clipper charges you the correct fare. Please ask a crewmember if you need assistance.

Transferring to MUNI, Soltrans or AC Transit

If you transfer from the ferry to Muni or SolTrans, you do not need a paper transfer. Clipper keeps track of your rides and automatically grants you appropriate transfer discounts. If you transfer to AC Transit, you will need to request a paper transfer from a crewmember onboard.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my Clipper card on all SF Bay Ferry routes?
Yes, SF Bay Ferry accepts Clipper on all regular ferry services. Clipper is not accepted on the ferry’s special AT&T Park service.

Why do I need to “tag off” when I exit the ferry?
When you ride SF Bay Ferry, Clipper deducts the maximum fare when you tag on and then refunds any difference when you tag off as you exit the ferry. This means you must tag your card to the card reader upon boarding AND exiting the ferry to ensure you're only charged for the distance you travel and that Clipper applies any appropriate discounted fares and transfers.

Do I need a minimum balance on my card to ride SF Bay Ferry?
Yes. You must have a minimum balance equal to the one-way Clipper fare for your route and fare category.

If you do not have the minimum balance, the card reader will display a red light and beep three times, and you will need to purchase a paper ticket on the ferry to pay your fare.

To ensure that you always have the minimum balance on your card, consider setting up Clipper's autoload for your card.

Can I add value to my Clipper card at a ferry terminal?
You can add value to your Clipper card at the Clipper Customer Service Center at Bay Crossings in the San Francisco Ferry Building and at the Vallejo Ferry Terminal. In San Francisco, you also can add value at the nearby Golden Gate Ferry, BART and Muni ticket machines.

You cannot currently add value to your Clipper card at the Alameda, Oakland, Pier 41 or South San Francisco ferry terminals.

Learn more about using Clipper on San Francisco Bay Ferry.