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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hey BART - why keep pushing EZ Rider when Translink is coming soon?

A lot of people today complain that BART's trains are a little dirtier, the employees are overpaid, the BART board is a bunch of nutjobs, and the frequent demagnetized tickets.

And now with the future of the all mighty universal transit fare card known as Translink, BART still keeps on developing their EZ Rider program.

OK... so the EZ rider pilot program was the genius idea of BART officials to give RFID fare cards to passengers so they can get through their gates without inserting a magnetic ticket into a machine.

What an interesting program... isn't there something called TRANSLINK that will be taking over this process within the next year?

Now... BART puts out a press release explaining that users of the EZ Rider program can now get a special hang tag to put on their car when they park their car, so all they do is tag their card at the parking payment station and they are registered in the system.

But, with BART officials continuously complaining about budget shortfalls and not being able to run their system with clean cars and whatnot, why are they pushing their EZ Rider program further? Why are they wasting money on this program when Translink is going to be taking over BART's EZ Rider program and making the entire Bay Area Transit system a "one card Bay Area?" BART should stop enhancing their EZ Rider program and use the funds to help test and develop the Translink program so it works well when the program comes to be.

I think BART feels addicted to waste money on these types of projects.

For example:
  • EZ Rider should have never been developed for public use since Translink will eventually take over.
  • Even after installation of new BART vending machines and gates, the plastic fare cards still kept getting demagnetized. So they are trying to invest in thicker, and magnetically resistant fare cards... but the new cards cost money. They could have saved money if they just used the thicker, more resistant fare cards when they first installed the gates and vending machines. Everyone knows that the cards can easily demagnetize, so why piss tons of passengers off?
  • Remember when BART wanted to allow passengers to carry coffee aboard the train cars? BART thought... well let's spend money on a new mug that is spill proof!!! Then Lynette Sweet, BART director, goes around with the SF Chronicle to demonstrate the new mug they spent their money on developing (perhaps thousands of dollars?) and she SPILLS THE DAMN COFFEE, with the SF Chronicle photographer taking photos of her cleaning it up. Yeah... very embarrassing BART folks... then the BART Board realizes that Lynette Sweet screwed-up big time in front of the media with the spilled coffee and cancels the program. Just HOW MUCH MONEY DID THEY HAVE TO WASTE ON THIS BULLSHIT PROJECT?

1 comment:

Erik said...

Translike has a terrible track record in getting from the "almost working" stage to the "working" stage. How long has Translink been strugglin with making their boxes work on Muni?