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Downtown Berkeley BART moves to Clipper-only sales

BART in Downtown Berkeley became the latest Clipper-only station Tuesday where passengers no longer have the option to purchase legacy magnetic stripe paper tickets at the station, though paper tickets can still be used as payment at fare gates.

Three other BART stations have already transitioned to Clipper-only sales, including Oakland 19th Street and San Francisco Embarcadero and Powell Street stations as part of the four-site pilot program.

Jerold Chinn/SFBay BART reopens the southern entrance to the platform inside the Downtown Berkeley Staton. The entrance is only for riders who have a Clipper card.

BART will make staff available at the Downtown Berkeley station for the first three days of the pilot launch to answer passenger questions and hand out free Clipper cards.

A Clipper card does cost $3 initially and can be purchased at a number of stores, such as Walgreens, or at Clipper card vending machines throughout BART system.

Clipper is the Bay Area’s all-in-one transit card that can be used for payment on multiple forms of transit, including ferries and Caltrain. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission runs the Clipper card program.

Jerold Chinn/SFBay A sign inside the BART Downtown Berkeley Station directs riders to a new Clipper card-only entrance.

BART officials said using Clipper offers riders multiple advantages, including cheaper single-ride fares on BART and Muni, and the ability to secure the card’s value with online registration.

Additionally, passengers who drive to BART’s parking lots can link the Clipper card and BART EZ Rider parking account for easy payment.

Officials said all BART stations will be transitioned to the Clipper-only system sometime in 2020.

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