Can I pay a discount fare without an RTC Discount ID card?
Yes, but you must show a valid photo ID and one of the following when you board a bus, ferry or rail vehicle:
- Medicare card (not Medi-Cal)
- A current Disabled Person Parking Placard Receipt from the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Transit discount ID card issued by another California transit agency if it is equivalent to the RTC Discount ID Card.
- If you are a Senior, (65 or older) you may pay a discounted fare using a Senior Clipper card. Learn more about getting a Senior Clipper card.
Can I purchase a discount pass for unlimited rides in the month?
Many agencies offer monthly discount passes that must be electronically loaded onto an RTC/Clipper card, or stickers that can be placed on the card. Contact your transit agency for more information.
How long is the card valid?
RTC Discount cards are valid for varying lengths of time and will differ based on whether 1) your medical professional determines that your disability is of a limited duration, or 2) your eligibility is tied to a qualifying document that is valid for a specific period such as a DMV placard (2 years), or 3) you used a card from another transit agency as proof of eligibility. Effective for new and renewal RTC cards issued starting January 1, 2020: If you have a “P” (indicating permanent disability) on your card and you applied for the card using the Medical Certification form, you do not need to renew your card. You will be given the opportunity to update your contact information and photo every five years.
What if I need to travel with an attendant?
Your medical professional can check the box on the Medical Certification application, indicating your need for an attendant. You may use your card with the attendant symbol in order to pay discounted cash fares for the attendant. If you would like to have your attendant use a Clipper card, you can apply for an "Attendant-Limited" Clipper card at your transit agency. The attendant will not receive his/her own RTC Card nor be included in the photo on your card. The attendant is eligible for the discount fare only when accompanying you and must pay regular fare at all other times.
What if I need to travel with a service animal?
A service animal is any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. Certification or documentation is not required for your service animal. However, the service animal must be under your control at all times. The RTC Discount ID Card does not contain any special marking for a service animal, and a photograph of your animal is not required for your ID card.
I am visiting the Bay Area and have a discount card from a transit system in another city. May I use it instead of applying for an RTC Discount card?
Yes, in many cases. If you plan to take transit frequently during your stay you should consider applying for an RTC Card. The RTC Card is more familiar to operators and offers the convenience of a smart card to pay fares.
California Transit Systems: You are eligible for discount fares when you show a valid transit discount ID card from a California transit system outside of the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Alternatively, you may apply, with a $3 processing fee, for a one-time courtesy RTC Discount card for the same period that your CA ID card is valid, or up to three years, whichever is less. You will need to submit a complete medical or basic application when your courtesy card expires.
Out-of-State Transit Systems: Transit operators may not accept out-of-state ID cards. If your stay is less than 3 months, you may want to apply for a one-time courtesy card, using your other ID as proof of eligibility. You would submit a "Basic Eligibility" application, pay the $3 processing fee, and receive an RTC Discount card. If you are visiting for more than three months, you would then be required to follow the regular application process to get another RTC Discount card.
How can I obtain information about the status of my RTC card application?
For questions about application status, call any of the transit agency offices listed here.