SamTrans Board Approves Participation in Clipper START Program

SamTrans Board Approves Participation in Clipper START Program

Beginning January 2021, SamTrans will begin participating in Clipper START, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s (MTC) means-based fares pilot program. The SamTrans Board of Directors unanimously approved participation in the program during its monthly meeting Wednesday afternoon.

The Clipper START pilot program will allow qualifying adult, lower-income SamTrans riders to receive a 50% fare discount off the adult single ride fare. Clipper START participants will pay $1 for a one-way ride and receive free transfers to other SamTrans routes within two hours. The program will be evaluated for possible continuation throughout the 12-month pilot period. 

Clipper START uses the Clipper transit fare payment system to discount the cost of one-way rides for adults (ages 19-64) whose household incomes are no more than twice the federal poverty level (for example, $52,400 for a family of four). Clipper START participants receive discounted fares on participating transit services around the Bay Area, including Caltrain and BART.

For most Bay Area households, transportation is the third-biggest monthly expense — trailing only the cost of housing and food. Clipper START could be a critical program for many families, particularly in the current economic climate.

Visit for information on program eligibility and how to apply. Customers without computer access can call Clipper START Customer Service at 855-614-9149.


About SamTrans: SamTrans operates 70 routes throughout San Mateo County.  Funded in part by a half-cent sales tax, the San Mateo County Transit District also provides administrative support for Caltrain and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority. SamTrans has provided bus service to San Mateo County customers since 1976.

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Media Contact:  Tasha Bartholomew, 650-508-7927