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Home>Getting Around>Paratransit>Regional Transit Connection (RTC) Discount Cards for Passengers with Disabilities

Regional Transit Connection (RTC) Discount Cards for Passengers with Disabilities

The Regional Transit Connection (RTC) Discount Card is a version of the Clipper card and is available to qualified persons with disabilities. The RTC card makes it easy to demonstrate eligibility for the reduced fare on fixed route bus, rail, and ferry systems throughout the bay area.  Application fee to apply or renew an RTC Discount ID Card is $3.00 and is non-refundable.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The RTC Program no longer issues cards to seniors (age 65 and over). The Senior Clipper card offers the same features and discounts, with no application fee, and does not expire. You can obtain a Senior Clipper card by mail, email and fax, or at your local transit agency.

Individuals who have the RTC card can buy discounted VTA Senior/Disabled monthly passes using clipper or load cash value onto the card to pay reduced fares.

Riders who have a RTC Clipper card can currently use the card to pay for fares on VTA, Caltrain, SamTrans, AC Transit, BART, Muni, Golden Gate Transit and Ferry. Riders who use transit agencies that do not accept Clipper can use the RTC card as proof of eligibility for reduced fares.

RTC Discount cards are valid for a maximum of five years. Your card may be valid for less if 1) your medical professional determines otherwise, or 2) your eligibility is tied to a qualifying document that is valid for a shorter period such as a DMV placard (2 years), or 3) you used a card from another transit agency as proof of eligibility. You must renew your card at each expiration even if your disability is permanent. Note that this is a change. Cards issued prior to September 1st 2012, were only valid for three years.

For more information see below or visit Clipper or 511 

Basic Eligibility
Application process
Where to apply for a RTC Discount card
Renew Early
Participating Transit Agencies and More Information

Basic Eligibilty

How do I demonstrate my eligibility for the Discount ID Card?

1. Basic Eligibility

To qualify for Basic Eligibility, you must present one of the following with your application:

  • Medicare Card (not Medi-Cal)
  • California DMV Placard registration for a parking placard. Card will expire same date as Placard.
  • Other Transit Agency or Visitor Card issued to you by another California transit agency.
  • Proof of Veterans Disability - A copy of your Service Connected Disability I.D. Card and VA Certification demonstrating a disability rating for aid and attendance, and a service-connected disability with a rating level of 50% or higher.

2. Medical Eligibility

Medical Certification forms must be completed by one of the following Calif. licensed professionals:

CA Licensed physicians with an M.D. or D.O. degree, licensed physician's assistants and nurse practitioners may certify in all categories in which they are licensed to diagnose;

  • Licensed chiropractors, categories 1, 2, 3 and 4
  • Licensed podiatrists, disabilities involving the feet under categories 1, 2, 3 and 4
  • Licensed optometrists, category 9
  • Licensed audiologists, category 10
  • Licensed clinical psychologists and licensed educational psychologists, categories 12, 15, 16 and 17
  • Licensed marriage and family counselors (MFCC) and licensed clinical social workers (LCSW), category 17

To obtain an RTC brochure and a Medical Certification Form, please contact VTA’s Customer Services at (408) 321-2300 or TTY at (408) 321-2330.


Application process

  • Complete the application form for either "Basic" or "Medical" eligibility (described above). Incomplete applications will not be accepted. The original application is required, copies will not be accepted.
  • Bring the application with you. Do not mail it in.
  • Present a valid photo identification - such as a current driver's license, California Identification Card, passport, Alien Registration Card, Military Identification Card or Military Dependent Card (originals only).
  • Pay the appropriate fee: 
    $3.00 New, renewal, or visitor
    $5.00 Replacement
    (These fees are non-refundable.)

Your photograph will be taken when you submit your application. Eligibility will be verified later, and your Discount ID Card will be mailed to you within 21 days. If you haven't received your card or a request for more information in the mail within 21 days, contact Customer Service at (408) 321-2300.

Upon receiving your RTC Card, you are immediately eligible for reduced fares on all participating public transit systems. No additional proof of eligibility is required, but you must show the RTC Card at the time you pay the fare.


Where to apply for a RTC Discount card:

  • VTA Downtown Customer Service Center, located at 55 - A West Santa Clara St., San Jose, 95113
    The hours are Mon. - Fri., 9 am to 6 pm
  • VTA Marketing and Customer Service, located at 3331 N. First Street at River Oaks, San Jose, 95134. Located in the Building B lobby.
    The hours are Mon. - Fri., 8 am to 4:30 pm

Renew Early

Plan to apply for a new card or renew your card early so there is ample time to receive your card in the mail before it expires. You may renew up to 60 days prior to expiration. Allow at least 21 days for mailing of the RTC Discount Card.

Seniors aged 65+ who do not travel with an attendant should not renew their expired RTC card, but should apply for a Senior Clipper card. The Senior Clipper card is available at our Downtown Customer Service Center or the administrative offices at River Oaks. 

Participating Transit Agencies and More Information


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