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Thursday, December 31, 2009

TransLink FAIL on BART: Not Available for Today

UPDATE: It now works.

Today has to be the worst day to have TransLink go down for one of the most important transit services to handle the New Years Eve and post "ball drop" crowds... BART.

There is word that TransLink is not accepted on BART today (verified by 511, TransLink, and BART), and the software fixing cannot begin until BART closes down service for the night.

What does this mean for you? You will have to purchase a regular BART ticket at the station, but remember to buy a round-trip ticket so you don't have to wait in a long line to purchase one for the ride home.

There could be a number of reasons why the failure happened, and these are just a bunch of guesses:
  • The software originally written for the gates was set to automatically expire.
  • A type of Y2K style software problem? This happened to some European trains and they simply moved the year back to 1990.
  • The New Year's "Flash Pass" program is cancelled this year, but it makes it even worse to have a dead TransLink program at the same time.
  • In the pursuit of fame, BART's James Fang wants to kill TransLink so he can keep promoting his cell phone payment program... um... $350,000 of your taxpayer money wasted versus a program already set-up (TransLink) and used on three transit systems.
The TransLink management board will likely talk about this incident, and I'll report back on what happened once the details are released.


troymccluresf said...

a program already set-up (TransLink) and used on three transit systems.


Erik said...

I got a free ride this morning because of this.

Alex said...

I experienced a TransLink fail last night. I bought a TransLink card a long time ago when it was just available for testing on Golden Gate Ferry and AC Transit. Since I was under 18, I got a special youth card that is supposed to automatically switch to an adult card after my 18th birthday. It has been charging me adult fare for all my rides since then, but yesterday when Muni fare inspectors checked my card, the handheld reader said it was a youth card. I told them that it deducted $2.00 off my card, so they then checked the information from the tag-on and saw that it deducted the adult fare and they subsequently let me go. We were all very confused. I'll be contacting TransLink Customer Service to fix the problem.

Anonymous said...

It should be working now.

How's this for a theory. Cards are set to expire on Dec 31st. Someone programmed 12/31/2009 00:00:00 not realizing that it should have been 12/31/2009 23:59:59.99999999. Makes a day's worth of difference.

Akit said...

troymccluresf: During that time period when James Fang was acting like an asshole, it was only available on Golden Gate, AC Transit, and Muni.