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Friday, May 8, 2009

Translink on BART: One Step Even Closer

Thanks to tipster PDXtoSF in a recent posting, Translink is one step closer to being ready for BART usage!

A very recent press release from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) reports that Translink on BART is "revenue ready" for the major transit agency. I don't exactly know what this means, but it is a major milestone and a step forward to having our green colored transit cards access one of the biggest transit agencies in the entire Bay Area.

As for the timeline, the press release states it will be "several weeks" until Translink will be officially available for use, and that includes training all the station agents in the program. Once BART gives the A-OK and flips the switch to accept the Translink cards, BART will have 1,000 people be their official "soft launch" testers, but they will not deny access to anyone carrying the Translink card (just like Muni). However, be prepared for some failures and have a BART ticket with a little cash on hand to use.

The press release has failed to mention if they will create a separate "purse" if people want to buy high value tickets (with the bonus cash) that will be dedicated to BART rides only. We also don't know if BART will issue e-discount coupons if people transfer to AC Transit or Muni, and if the Muni pass on the Translink card will be honored for local rides within SF.

That will have to be debated later, but it's time to pop that cork of champagne, because Translink users will be riding in no-time!

Get your card NOW


Anonymous said...

To answer your questions

1) Yes, the TransLink card will offer BART's "High Value Discount" product, which gets your $48 or $64 in BART value for $45 or $60 of your own money. The HVD product can only be used at BART faregates, of course.

2) Yes, transfers from BART to AC Transit and Muni will result in the standard discount ($0.25 off each trip to/from, for roundtrip savings of $0.50) for e-cash payment trips. Additionally, interagency agreements at Orinda station (ACT route 70) and Daly City station (Muni routes 28 & 54) will be honored. Current inter-agency agreements (like Golden Gate Transit to/from ACT at El Cerrito del Norte, and Golden Gate Ferry to/from Muni) are already honored on TransLink.

3) Yes, a Muni FastPass product on the TransLink card will be accepted as payment at all SF BART stations.

Akit said...

I knew MTC and Translink is reading my blog!

They use the capital letter "L" in Translink!

Akit said...

Or maybe it's BART's Linton Johnson.