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Loading Your Clipper Card

Types of Value

Value is stored on your Clipper℠ card by the following:

  • Passes: Passes stored on your Clipper card (such as a VTA monthly pass) work the same way as the paper versions.
  • Cash value: You can use cash on your Clipper card on any participating transit system's vehicles and ferries.

Passes and cash are stored separately on your card and are not interchangeable once loaded onto your card. For instance, if you add cash to your card, you cannot use that cash to purchase a monthly pass. Alternately, a transit pass on your card cannot be exchanged for an equivalent amount of cash.


Autoload is the fastest and easiest way to ensure you'll always have value on your Clipper card. Link your card to a credit card or bank account, and whenever your cash balance falls below $10 or your pass expires, the pre-set value will be automatically added to your card.

Timing for Adding Value

When adding value to your Clipper card, choose the combination of passes, tickets or cash that suit your needs. You can add value in several ways. Value added in person is available instantly, while it may take up to 3-5 days for value added online or over the phone to be available.*

Why does it take 3-5 days for value to be available?
When you add a pass or cash through the website, by calling the Clipper Customer Service Center or set up Autoload for the first time, it can take 3-5 days before the value is available to be added to your card. This is because the pass or cash that you add to your card is stored directly on your card, not on a server. Adding a pass or cash to your card through the website or over the phone means that the information about your order needs to be batched up and sent out to the devices (card readers, fare gates, Clipper Add Value or ticket machines) located at each station and/or bus yard. In the case of the bus yards, it is then transmitted to the card readers on each bus individually at the end of each day. Once this process is complete, the next time you use your card, the card reader will load the value to your card, where it is then stored for use.

If you need value added to your card right away, you can add value at a retailer, ticket office or Clipper Add Value or ticket machine. When you add value at these locations, the value is loaded onto your card at that time, and available for use immediately. Another option is to set up Autoload so that your chosen pass or cash amount will reload every time your pass expires or your cash balance drops below $10.

*Value that is added online or over the phone is added to your card the first time you use your card (after the value is available) by touching it to a card reader. The same is true when you set up Autoload. At that time, your card's balance will also be updated to reflect the value added.

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Notices & Service Alerts

Last update: 05/24/2019

Memorial Day: Service will operate on a Sunday schedule Monday 5/27

Temporary Bus Stop Closure: for lines 23, 168, 323 due to Convention Center Event 5/28 - 6/1

Temporary Bus Stop Closure: for lines 61, 62 & 26 5/28 - 5/30

Reroute of Southbound lines 14, 17, 19 & 68: in Gilroy due to a parade 5/27

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