[Published Aug. 2018]

Caltrain is strictly enforcing its new enforcement policy, which was announced in March of this year. Under this policy, if Caltrain riders are found without a valid fare, conductors will scan/photograph their ID to issue an administrative citation for fare evasion.

What this means for Go Pass users

Go Pass users should be aware that Caltrain requires you to tag on before and tag off after each ride in order to have a valid fare. If you forget to tag on and/or off, you will be subject to citation.

For more information about how the Caltrain Go Pass works, please visit our Caltrain Go Pass website, which contains Frequently Asked Questions, a “How To” page, information on lost, stolen, or damaged Go Passes, and more. For more information about the tagging process, please review these instructions from Clipper and the "How to Use Go Pass on Clipper" video on our Resources for a Sustainable Commute page.

Why Caltrain changed its enforcement policy

Before adopting this policy, fare evaders were issued criminal rather than administrative citations. This process was time consuming and sometimes resulted in situations requiring police presence and train delays. Caltrain expects this new administrative process to be quicker and more efficient.

In addition, the new in-house administrative hearing/review process is expected to minimize confusion for Caltrain passengers who are cited. The previous policy presented many challenges to Caltrain riders with varying court procedures and penalties depending on jurisdiction. (Caltrain operates in three counties: San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara.)

Fines are also lower under the new policy. Criminal citations under the old system were $250 plus court fees. Instead, a first offense will result in a $75 administrative penalty.

Even if you have a valid Go Pass, you will be subject to citation for failure to tag on and off. In response to those who have said that they don’t believe they need to tag off, Caltrain informed us that it can result in the Go Pass being misread the next time it is tagged. It could be read as tagging off when you are trying to tag on for your next ride.

For questions regarding Caltrain’s fare evasion policy, please refer to their web page or use their online comment form. For questions on the Stanford Go Pass program, please contact commuteclub@stanford.edu or 650.736.9923.