SamTrans Explores Clipper START Feasibility

SamTrans Explores Clipper START Feasibility


In the coming months, SamTrans will consider the agency’s potential participation in Clipper START, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s (MTC) means-based fares pilot program. A taskforce is analyzing the program’s benefits and impacts in terms of ridership, farebox recovery, customer experience, and regional coordination.

Staff is scheduled to present findings and recommendations to the SamTrans Board of Directors at their October 7 meeting. If approved, Clipper START would allow qualifying SamTrans riders who are lower-income to receive fare discounts of 20% to50% off the adult single ride fare. Staff will monitor the program’s performance metrics throughout the 12-month pilot period to determine its long-term feasibility.

SamTrans invites the public to provide input through a web-based comment form and an upcoming virtual town hall:

SamTrans Clipper START Virtual Town Hall
Tuesday, September 29, at 5:30PM
Join by Zoom:
Join by phone: +1 877-853-5257, Webinar ID: 946 9904 7126

Members of the public may also comment on the proposed means-based fares discount program by calling SamTrans Customer Service at 1-800-660-4287.

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.

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. 


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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Free translation assistance is available. Para traducción llama al 1.800.660.4287; 如需翻譯,請電 1.800.660.4287.


SamTrans News


September 16, 2020

Media Contact: Alex Eisenhart, 650-622-7850