Fresh off the BART's twitter, they are going to start on Monday, August 3rd: TRANSLINK.
A just recently posted news release from BART tells people that you can start using your Translink cards on BART as soon as Monday. Tomorrow (Sunday), BART is going to update the fare gates to allow usage of Translink cards to the system.
But there are a few items of note:
- It's not 100% ready for the masses, basically it's still "testing." However, it does permit ANYONE with a Translink card to use the system. Their test phase is five months.
- The three Translink fare payments are accepted: E-cash, Muni adult passes (w/in SF), and an electronic form of BART's high value tickets. Be warned, there are limited places to instantly update your Translink card with more money. Most common places, Bay Area Walgreens.
- For the high value tickets, you can't claim commuter pre-tax benefits, unless if you get one of those special debit cards from the benefits company.
- BART doesn't guarantee it will work since it is "testing," so bring some cash with you just in case it fails (like... badly).
Whoohoo! Pressure from the public and bloggers like SFist, SF Appeal, Eye on Blogs, and others have forced BART to start playing along with Translink.
As for BART board member James Fang... he's probably crying in agony.
UPDATE: To get high value tickets, you must be registered for "autoload" with Translink. Since Translink's policy is to not allow commuter benefit debit cards for automatic loading, you should stick with e-cash.