clipper.jpgReaders are reporting that free TransLink Clipper cards (ordinarily they’re $5) are being passed out at several underground BART/Muni stations today, and while a Clipper representative confirmed the giveaway, she could not confirm exact locations and times one could pick up a card (can you?).

So if you’re not going to be downtown but want to get a free Clipper card, SFist notes that you can pick up a freebie on the Clipper site. However, I can report that the site is behaving quite oddly, not just regarding some security issues but in general. (Is the Clipper card the New iPhone Of Wednesday?) My order could not be completed! Unknown error!

So a third option is to call Clipper at 877.878.8883 and order your card — that’s what I did. If you’re replacing a TransLink card, make sure you have your serial number handy so you can transfer any balance or benefits you have, and they should get it to you by mail in the next 3 business days.

Photo: Sent by an anon Appeal reader and new Clipper customer

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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  • Becca Klarin

    The SFMTA site ( has these dates/times for free Clipper cards.

    Wednesday, June 16
    Powell Station
    7 to 10 a.m.

    Friday, June 18
    Powell Station
    4 to 7 p.m.

    Tuesday, June 29
    Embarcadero Station
    7 to 10 a.m.

    Wednesday, June 30
    Montgomery Station
    4 to 7 p.m.

    I got my Clipper card this morning, trying four BART entrances until I found the right one (enter via the cable car turnaround). The Clipper staff were set up at a table inside the fare gates, so if you don’t have a monthly fast pass or a transfer, you may need to pay to get access to the table.

    I was able to get two cards (one for me and one for my SO), so that was nice. But once I got to work and went online to register my card, the system wouldn’t let me register. I ended up having to call Clipper customer service at 877.878.8883; thankfully a very personable and perky woman registered my card over the phone.

  • Eve Batey

    Thanks, Becca! Apparently there are other days, times, and locations for giveaways besides the ones we’s already pimped — the Clipper rep I spoke to said there are many other times and places to get the cards, but she couldn’t get me specifics.

    If you see anything on the MTA site about additional days, will you let us know?

  • Becca Klarin

    Hmm, I asked this morning, and they said only the posted times, which is why I got an extra for my man.

  • Eve Batey

    And THAT is why I had mine mailed! I am never down there at those times! That would require PJ removal.

  • Akit

    Word from the MTC folks at the Clipper press conference says you can also grab them free at their retail locations like Walgreens, and ticketing agency offices like AC Transit. Limit two per person.

  • shannonica

    I just went online and everything went smoothly (let’s hope I get it in 5-7 days)!

  • Amit

    Easy breezy… went to the photo counter at the Walgreen’s on 4th and Townsend and got the free Clipper in 1 minute flat, no fuss, no muss, no lines or crowd. Went online and it registered just fine and I’m set! Thanks for the info SFA!