Farebox

SamTrans buses use state-of-the-art fareboxes.  The farebox accepts dollar bills, coins, tokens and magnetic-stripe tickets.  Magnetic-stripe tickets are similar in size to a credit card.  One side of the magnetic ticket has a stripe that contains the encoded ticket information that is read by the farebox. Magnetic-stripe tickets are either "dipped" or "swiped" in the farebox depending on the ticket type.

Dollar bills, coins and tokens should be inserted one-at-a time. The dollar bills should be flat and unfolded.  If possible, deposit exact fare.  If a customer overpays, the farebox will issue a Change Card, which is a magnetic-stripe card that can be used toward the bus fare on future SamTrans trips (Change cards expire one year from date of issue). NOTE: Through March 31, 2020, customers will be reminded to pay with exact change. Starting April 1, 2020, change cards will not be issued. All valid change cards previously issued will be accepted through March 31, 2021.

Eligible Discount, Youth and Adult tickets are “dipped” into the farebox, while Youth Monthly passes are “swiped”. 

Customers may purchase Day passes onboard the bus directly from the farebox.

Quick Links

  1. Farebox Top Tips
  2. Farebox Questions & Answers

 


 

Farebox Top Tips

  • Have your fare ready before boarding
  • Use flat bills and insert only one bill at a time
  • Drop coins one at a time to prevent jamming (coin acceptor is on the right-hand side)

 


Farebox Questions & Answers
  1. What type of payment does the new farebox accept?
  2. Where do I insert my fare?
  3. What is a magnetic-stripe ticket?
  4. How do I know whether to dip or swipe a ticket?
  5. How do I take care of my magnetic ticket?
  6. How do I know if my ticket worked?
  7. What if the farebox cannot read my ticket?
  8. How do I swipe a ticket?
  9. What is a Change Card?
  10. Where can I use my Change Card?
  11. When does my Change Card expire?
  12. How do I dip my ticket?
  13. Can multiple Change Cards be used to pay my fare?
  14. Can I use a Change Card and cash or tokens to pay my fare?
  15. Why does my Change Card say "Day Pass"?
  16. How do I purchase a Day Pass?
  17. What route is the Day Pass accepted on?
  18. Does the farebox accept the Clipper card?
  1. What type of payment does the new farebox accept?
    The farebox will accept dollar bills, coins, tokens and magnetic-stripe tickets requiring a dip or a swipe.

  2. Where do I insert my fare?
    The coin drop is on the right side of the farebox, near the front, and the bill feeder is just above it.

    When inserting dollar bills, use flat, unfolded bills. The farebox accepts $1, $2, $5, $10 and $20 bills. No foreign currency is accepted. The farebox will not accept taped, counterfeit or torn bills.

    Coins and tokens must be inserted one at a time. All U.S. coins are accepted, including pennies and newer $1 coins.

    Do not force bills or tickets into the farebox; allow the farebox to pull them in.  Make sure they are accepted before going to your seat.

  3. What is a magnetic-stripe ticket?
    A magnetic-stripe ticket has a stripe that contains the ticket information. Magnetic tickets need to be "dipped" into the reader on the top left of the farebox or "swiped" through the channel on the top right, depending on the ticket type.

  4. How do I know whether to dip or swipe?
    Magnetic tickets will need to be "dipped" into the reader on the top left of the farebox or "swiped" through the channel on the top right, depending on the ticket type.

    Dipped
    Eligible Discount, Youth and Adult tickets

    Swiped
    Day Pass
    Youth Monthly Pass
    Summer Youth Pass

  5. How do I take care of my magnetic ticket?
    Magnetic tickets should be kept clean, dry and away from magnets. Also, avoid exposing the ticket to extreme heat because it may demagnetize the ticket. Folded, scratched, torn, cut, written-on or laminated tickets interfere with or prevent the farebox from reading the magnetic stripe.

  6. How do I know if my ticket worked?
    If the ticket is rejected, the farebox will provide an audio and visual alert. If the ticket doesn't work, another form of valid fare payment will be required.

  7. What if the farebox can't read my ticket?
    There are no refunds, exchanges or replacements on SamTrans tickets. However, if your magnetic ticket stops working, please fill out the Request for Replacement Form. Replacements may not be granted for tickets that cannot be verified due to the ticket being damaged, torn or bent.

  8. How do I swipe a ticket?
    Hold the ticket so the magnetic stripe is facing you and gently swipe it through the reader keeping the cut corner up and on the left. As you swipe, keep the card flat and do not bend it.

  9. What is a Change Card?
    A Change Card is a stored-value card printed by the farebox when the amount of money inserted is more than the required fare. The value of the card will be printed on the back. When used for future rides, dip the card into the reader and the farebox will deduct the appropriate fare and issue it back showing your remaining balance. If there's not enough value on the card to pay the required fare, you will need to put additional cash or another Change Card(s) into the farebox. Change cards are only valid on SamTrans fixed-route buses and cannot be redeemed for cash, exchanged or refunded. Change cards expire one year from date of issue. NOTE: Through March 31, 2020, customers will be reminded to pay with exact change. Starting April 1, 2020, change cards will not be issued. All valid change cards previously issued will be accepted through March 31, 2021.

  10. Where can I use my Change Card?
    Change cards are only valid on SamTrans fixed-route buses and cannot be used on other transit agency systems. NOTE: Through March 31, 2020, customers will be reminded to pay with exact change. Starting April 1, 2020, change cards will not be issued. All valid change cards previously issued will be accepted through March 31, 2021.

  11. When does my Change Card expire?
    Change cards expire one year from date of issue. NOTE: Through March 31, 2020, customers will be reminded to pay with exact change. Starting April 1, 2020, change cards will not be issued. All valid change cards previously issued will be accepted through March 31, 2021.

  12. How do I dip my ticket?
    These tickets are "dipped" into the slot on the top left of the farebox with the picture side of the ticket facing you. When inserting the ticket, look for the directional arrow indicating the side to insert into the farebox. The value/ride is deducted and the farebox prints the deduction/balance and then pops the ticket out for retrieval.

  13. Can multiple Change cards be used to pay my fare?
    Yes, multiple Change cards may be dipped into the farebox to pay a single fare. They must be dipped one at a time. NOTE: Through March 31, 2020, customers will be reminded to pay with exact change. Starting April 1, 2020, change cards will not be issued. All valid change cards previously issued will be accepted through March 31, 2021.

  14. Can I use a Change Card and cash, tokens or tickets to pay my fare?
    Yes. Insert your Change Card first, and then pay any balance required with either cash or the appropriate token/ticket to pay the fare. NOTE: Through March 31, 2020, customers will be reminded to pay with exact change. Starting April 1, 2020, change cards will not be issued. All valid change cards previously issued will be accepted through March 31, 2021.

  15. Why does my Change Card say "Day Pass"?
    The Change Card and Day Pass are printed on the same ticket by the farebox. You can see what ticket you have by looking at the side of the ticket with the magnetic stripe. For a Day Pass, you will need to swipe the ticket. For a Change Card, you will need to dip it. NOTE: Through March 31, 2020, customers will be reminded to pay with exact change. Starting April 1, 2020, change cards will not be issued. All valid change cards previously issued will be accepted through March 31, 2021.

  16. How do I purchase a Day Pass?
    Day passes are available for purchase on the bus with cash.  Tokens cannot be used to purchase a Day Pass. If you are purchasing a Day Pass, you must tell the bus operator before inserting money.

  17. What route is the Day Pass accepted on?
    The Day Pass is valid on all fixed-route buses and carries a local-ride value. The ride value may be applied to any route with a higher ride value by paying the difference in cash, tokens or Eligible Discount, Youth & Adult local-ride value tickets.

  18. Does the farebox accept the Clipper Card?
    No. The Clipper Card must be tagged at the Clipper card reader located to the right of the farebox.

4/9/21

Project Background

The Marin and Napoleon street bridges are located near the base of Islais Creek, under the I-280 freeway, in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood. The Napoleon Street Bridge will need to be fully replaced for safety and structural integrity purposes, whereas minor safety improvements will be made to the Marin Street Bridge. Additional track work may occur from Cesar Chavez to Jerrold Street.

We thank you for your continued patience.

*Subject to change according to construction work.

Station Impacts

There will be Caltrain staff at the San Francisco and Bayshore stations to assist riders.

San Francisco

The San Francisco Station lobby will remain open for access to ticket machines and Clipper Add Value machines. Bathrooms are closed due to COVID-19 regulations.

22nd Street

22nd Street Station will be CLOSED with no access to Clipper Add Value or ticket machines. Riders that normally use 22nd Street can use the free bus service and purchase tickets at Bayshore Station.

Bayshore

Bayshore Station will be open. There will be no weekend parking in the Bayshore station parking lot. There will be limited parking on the street.

Ways to Pay

Caltrain Mobile App

One-way tickets, Day Passes and Daily Parking permits can be purchased on the Caltrain Mobile app. Tickets are automatically activated for immediate use only. You cannot save the mobile ticket for later use. Customers can download the Caltrain Mobile ticketing app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Clipper

Clipper customers traveling north to San Francisco or 22nd Street stations will tag on at their station of origin and tag off at Bayshore Station.

Clipper customers traveling south from San Francisco or 22nd Street stations can tag on at Bayshore Station and tag off at their final destination.

Ticket Machines

One-way tickets and Day passes can be purchased at all station ticket machines, except 22nd Street.

Transit Alternatives

In addition to the free SamTrans bus service provided, please see our transit alternatives page for other transit options that may work better for some passengers.

Alternative Transit Map

FAQs

Reference a list of Frequently Asked Questions.