Caltrain Clipper Card Readers to Emit Tone Locator Sounds to Assist Visually Impaired

Caltrain Clipper Card Readers to Emit Tone Locator Sounds to Assist Visually Impaired


To assists passengers with visual impairments, Caltrain will introduce new tone locators to Clipper card machine readers at the agency’s stations.

The Clipper card readers—where passengers tag on and tag off to register their fare payment with Caltrain—will emit a beeping sound starting on September 30. This noise will alert passengers with visual impairments to where they can tag their Clipper card. The tones have been designed so they are audible up to 20 feet away.

The locater noise produced by the Clipper card readers will have a lower decibel level than the sounds that indicate whether a person has tagged on or off at the card-reading machines. The sound of the new tone locator can be heard here.

The tone locator will beep every 15 seconds throughout the day at most Caltrain stations. The tones will be activated 10 minutes prior to departure or arrival of the first train at each station, and turn off 10 minutes after the departure or arrival of the last train at each station.

At some stations between San Jose and Gilroy, the beeping noise will only be heard during the weekday morning and evening commutes. At Broadway Station and Atherton Station, which do not have weekday service, the tone will only be heard during the weekends.

Caltrain strives to make riding the train easy and safe for all customers, especially those with special mobility needs. The Clipper card tone locaters are part of those efforts. More information on Caltrain’s Accessibility programs can be found here.

Caltrain is a proof-of-payment system. Tickets are not sold onboard trains but can be purchased at ticket machines at the stations.


About Caltrain: Owned and operated by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, Caltrain provides commuter rail service from San Francisco to San Jose, with limited commute service to Gilroy. Caltrain has enjoyed more than five years of consecutive monthly ridership increases, surpassing more than 60,000 average weekday riders earlier this year. While the Joint Powers Board assumed operating responsibilities for the service in 1992, the railroad celebrated 150 years of continuous passenger service in 2014. Planning for the next 150 years of Peninsula rail service, Caltrain is on pace to electrify the corridor, reduce diesel emissions by 97 percent by 2040 and add more service to more stations. 

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Media Contact: Will Reisman, 650.508.7704