A Clipper card-only entrance inside the BART Downtown Berkeley Station debuted Monday morning after the entrance was closed for several years.
BART officials are piloting the Clipper card faregate entrance in an effort to get more riders to switch over to Clipper instead of purchasing paper tickets from the vending machines.
Riders with a Clipper card who do not want to wait in the long lines to enter the platform during the commute rush hour can use the Shattuck Avenue/Alston Way East street-level station entrance to get to the Clipper card entrance.
Riders with paper tickets can still exit through the faregates, said BART spokesperson Taylor Huckaby.
Huckaby said BART will look at the Clipper usage as a percentage of the total number of riders and rider feedback to determine the pilot’s success.
Even though BART is only testing the new Clipper card entrance inside the Downtown Berkeley Station, riders may still want to switch over to Clipper because of an upcoming 50-cent surcharge on paper tickets beginning on Jan. 1, 2018.
BART plans to also test the Clipper card faregate entrance at the eBART Antioch Station, set to open in May 2018.
The transit agency will make it easier for riders to get their hands on a Clipper card. This fall, the Downtown Berkeley Station will be the first station to have a Clipper card vending machine, according to BART.
Later this year, BART plans to modify at least one ticket vending machine inside each station to dispense Clipper cards.
Also making its debut at the new entrance are new 5-foot glass barriers surrounding the paid area. BART is testing the new higher barriers to prevent fare cheats from climbing over into the paid area.
BART staff will be at the Downtown Berkeley Station for the entire week informing riders of the new Clipper card entrance and handing out Clipper card information to riders who do not have one.
The station is going through a $7.6 million renovation project. Among the improvements is a new main entrance to the station.