Low income riders on the Wheels bus system will become eligible for reduced fares beginning Monday January 25. Wheels is participating in a pilot program administered by the Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) called Clipper START. The pilot will continue through the end of the year at a minimum.
Applicants to the pilot program can provide a copy of an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card or Medi-Cal card, a county benefits eligibility letter, their Muni Lifeline card number or a copy of their last federal tax return to demonstrate their eligibility. Once approved, they will receive a personalized Clipper card that must be loaded with cash value before use.
The Clipper START discounts are automatically applied whenever the card is used. On Wheels buses, the discount is 20 percent off of the regular $2.00 one-way fare. Clipper START is not a transit pass — it is a program that offers discounts for single rides on 22 participating Bay Area transit systems.
Riders interested in Clipper START can learn more about the program and apply online at clipperstartcard.com. The website guides customers through the application process, details what documents customers need to upload, and will save applicants’ progress to allow them to return later to complete the application if necessary.
Cards can only be obtained through the Clipper website and are not available at the Livermore Transit Center, the Wheels Administrative Office or at any of the other Tri-Valley retail locations where Clipper Cards are available.
Income guidelines for the program are listed below.
Clipper Start Income Guidelines
|Household size||Household income up to|
Add $8,960 for each additional household member over eight.
About the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority
The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) was created in 1985 by the cities of Dublin, Livermore and Pleasanton and Alameda County to serve area transit needs. In 2018 and 2019, LAVTA was named Transit Agency of the Year by the California Transit Association and the California Association for Coordinated Transportation, respectively. In 2020, LAVTA was named the top transit agency of its size in North America by the American Public Transportation Association.
LAVTA supports environmental sustainability by reducing vehicle trips and traffic congestion on local streets and improving air quality in the Tri-Valley region. In addition to passenger fares, the agency is supported financially by federal, state and local agencies, including the Alameda County Transportation Commission’s Measure B and BB.