Transportation

Clipper launches on iPhone and Apple Watch, debuts new mobile app

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission on Thursday launched the Clipper regional transit-fare payment card on iPhone and Apple Watch, and also released a mobile app for easier management of Clipper cards.

Clipper on iPhone and Apple Watch gives riders on 24 Bay Area transit systems a new, contactless way to pay fares on buses, trains and ferries. Customers can add the card directly through Apple Wallet and load cash value with Apple Pay anytime, anywhere. Riders also can transfer the value from a plastic Clipper card to their iPhone. Clipper will be coming to Google Pay in May.

The launch makes paying for and riding public transit easier and safer. Clipper on iPhone and Apple Watch works with Express Mode, allowing riders to quickly tag and pay for rides without having to use Face ID, Touch ID, wake or unlock their device, or open an app. Riders can simply hold their iPhone or their Apple Watch near the Clipper reader and then board the bus, train or ferry. They no longer need to touch a ticket vending machine or reload a Clipper card at a retailer.

“The last year has taught us the importance of contactless fare payment, and this is one more way Clipper is delivering on that promise,” said MTC Chair Alfredo Pedroza. “With Clipper’s launch today on iPhone and Apple Watch, we are offering greater safety and convenience to riders, drivers, station agents and transit operators.”

Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay, agreed.

“We’re excited that customers across the Bay Area, our hometown, can now use Clipper on iPhone and Apple Watch and benefit from a safer, faster more convenient way to ride,” she said. “After adding their Clipper card to Apple Wallet, riders can simply tap and go for a contactless experience that also keeps their information private and secure.”

The new Clipper mobile app, available on iPhone, allows riders to easily manage their Clipper cards and their Clipper account, and to plan transit trips around the Bay Area. Riders must use the Clipper app to buy transit agency passes for use on iPhone or Apple Watch.

“This new fare payment method works on all 24 Bay Area transit services that accept Clipper,” said MTC Executive Director Therese McMillan. “Riders can easily add cash value from Apple Pay and just tag and ride. It couldn’t be more user-friendly, not to mention timely. We’re looking forward to offering the same convenience soon with Google Pay.”

Transit riders who are enrolled in the Clipper START program and those who use cash to load their Clipper cards also can use the Clipper app, but cash payers will need to use a BART, Golden Gate Ferry, or SMART ticket machine or select Caltrain ticket machines to add value to iPhone or Apple Watch.

MTC has been working with Apple and Cubic Transportation Systems, the Bay Area’s fare payment solutions partner, to introduce these convenient new payment and account management features. For more information, visit clippercard.com or transit.applepay.apple/san-francisco.

MTC is the transportation planning, funding and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. MTC operates the Clipper system on behalf of the region’s transit agencies.

*To add a Clipper transit-fare payment card to Apple Wallet, you need iPhone 8 or later running the latest version of iOS, or an Apple Watch Series 3 or later running the latest version of watchOS. Once transferred, the physical Clipper card can no longer be used to pay for transit.

**Hand-held Clipper card readers do not support Express Mode. Without Express Mode, you must authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, your passcode, or double click on your Apple Watch for the Clipper reader to read your Clipper card. Learn more about riding transit without Express Mode.

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