Muni intends to transition all "Y" (youth) and "S" (senior) passes starting February 2011. This means, the last paper passes for these two groups will be issued for the month of January.
Unlike the adult Clipper cards, youth and senior Clipper cards are specially encoded to assure eligible people receives the proper discount as certain agencies have different definitions of what constitutes a discount, and to prevent fraudulent usage of the cards by adults. Here's a few examples:
- When it comes to specially encoded Clipper cards... BART has a different policy for youth (red) magnetic paper tickets. The age limit is 12 years. Once that person becomes 13 years old, they must use a blue adult ticket or the special orange ticket which has severe restrictions on use and limited to some school institutions. When using a Clipper card, a youth card registered to a 10 year old will be eligible for discounts on BART and Muni (Muni's is 4-17 years old), but a 15 year old will be charged the full adult fare for BART and will get the youth fare for Muni.
- To prevent fraud, Clipper simply cannot issue youth and senior cards to the general public in vending machines or in-person vendors. It would be easy for adults to cheat the transit systems unless a fare inspector with a card verification reader can find out. It's like the RTC disabled discount card, nobody can get their hands on it unless they provide written verification of a disability and file an application.
- AC Transit wanted youth pass users to switch to Clipper only. Parents and the news media complained that people had to register (last minute) and it took a while for the new cards. Uh... hello! AC Transit was hosting registration events for over ONE YEAR at various locations around Alameda and Contra Costa County, and the agency was giving early warning notices by doing ads on buses and their website.
- BART still had 5,000 to 8,000 people who failed to transition from EZ Rider to Clipper by the December 15th deadline and the agency has been e-mailing and snail mailing people for months on end warning them of the doom they face when the EZ Rider card will be left for dead on that date.
How can you register for a youth card?
- Youth Clipper cards must have an application turned in to the SFMTA Customer Service office at Van Ness and Market during regular business hours. The completed application and a copy of the birth certificate is required to submit to the clerk.
- Click here for the application to print and complete.
- Muni says the youth does not need to be present to apply.
- The card will arrive in the mail to the address specified on the application.
- The youth must be present at the AC Transit ticketing sales office at 1600 Franklin Street (Oakland), and must complete an application and show proof of age.
- The youth will have their photograph taken and a youth Clipper card will arrive in the mail with their photograph attached to it.
- There is no way around this policy. If a youth Clipper card application is received by any other agency than AC Transit, vendors and automated machines won't sell the youth passes for AC. But youth Clipper cards issued by other agencies will honor the youth e-cash fare on AC Transit.
- Complete the application form and bring it with proof of age to the Van Ness and Market SFMTA Customer Service office.
- If you cannot make it to the SFMTA office, you can drop it off at these senior services centers, but be warned, these locations will only accept them on certain days and hours. Click here for alternate locations.
- Once the application is received, the card will be mailed to the specified address listed on the application.
FYI: Since Muni is planning to open their new sales booth at Geary and Masonic starting December 27th, they may also accept youth and senior applications. This has not been confirmed; but if there's a SFMTA spokesperson who wants to answer this question, please leave a comment.