BART takes big step toward eliminating paper tickets

Monday, August 5, 2019
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The 19th Street BART station in Oakland just made a big change. Riders can no longer buy paper tickets at the station.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The 19th Street BART station in Oakland made a big change Monday. Riders can no longer buy paper tickets at the station. Only Clipper Cards will be sold at the station.

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"We are doing it because Clipper Card has been identified and prioritized as the all-in-one transit card for the region. So we want to move forward technologically. This is what many transit agencies across the country and around the world are already doing," said BART spokesperson Anna Duckworth.

BART had extra employees at the station to answer questions, explain the new system, and to hand out Clipper Cards. One rider was worried about losing a Clipper Card with a lot of money on it. She was relieved to learn this is safer than a paper ticket.

"At least with a Clipper Card, you can register it online so if it is over a certain amount you can report the loss whereas with a paper ticket if it is gone, it is gone," said Oakland resident Roslyn Burns.

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You can still use old paper tickets at the 19th Street Station. But you won't be able to buy paper tickets.

"Efficiency-wise, we think it is going to be a big improvement. The paper tickets can jam our fare gates. That means more maintenance time, that means longer lines because there are less options for people to get in and out of the system," Duckworth explained.

Eighty-six percent of BART riders already use Clipper Cards. It is the other 14 percent they want to convert.

The next stations to shift exclusively to Clipper Cards will be Embarcadero, Powell and Berkeley. All stations will make the switch by next year.

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