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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Translink Muni Fast Pass - Pass Expiration Policy & Automatic Loading

I just learned something new today about the Translink card program:

If you have a Muni monthly pass and have it automatically loaded every month (autoload program or Commuter Check), you may notice that when you tagged your card today it says your fast pass expired yesterday.

I called-up Translink and asked why. The agent said that the new pass will show-up on the Translink reader screen after the 3-day grace period for the previous month's Muni pass ends. Therefore, once the 4th of the month comes along, your new pass will show-up.

I should note that this does not screw-up your free BART rides within San Francisco.

Here's an example of what happens:
  1. I am on reoccuring purchase of monthly Muni pass for Translink.
  2. On September 30th, I'm still using my September Translink e-pass.
  3. From October 1st to October 3rd, tagging my card still shows the September pass (expiration September 30th), but the system recognizes it as OK to ride due to the 3-day grace period.
  4. On October 4th, Translink reader now says pass expires on October 31st.


Mike said...

Have you had trouble with the readers being out on buses? Today the driver of a 30-stockton going towards Caltrain wanted me to pay $2 because the reader was out. I waited for a 45 which was only 2 minutes behind, but if I were on a route that had infrequent service, I would have been forced to pay the extra $2. Even if I had used the eCash to pay $2 when boarding the Metro, I would have had to pay $2 for the transfer on 4th st because I had no proof of payment.

So the policy is basically if the reader is out, the rider pays extra. I'm not sure that is acceptable to me.

I've also had two fare checks, one on Caltrain and one in the Metro, where the fare inspector/conductor's reader showed that I hadn't paid. Both times I was released without a ticket, but this is not good. I'd say I'm running into equipment trouble nearly 1/3 of the times that I ride.

Akit said...

I don't have that many troubles with Translink at this point.

But if you hit a situation where the reader is broken and you either have a pass or transfer stored on your Translink card, you should call Translink and inform them and ask if you can get reimbursed.