The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has declared that the TransLink smart card transit-fare payment program is "Revenue Ready" for the BART system. This declaration is a major contractual milestone signifying that TransLink has successfully passed all laboratory and field tests. BART expects that TransLink will be accepted on the system early in the summer.
BART customers will be able to use TransLink to pay their fares as soon as BART turns on its faregates to accept the smart cards as payment. There are several steps that will be undertaken in the next several weeks to ensure that the faregates are ready to accept TransLink, including the BART Board's consideration of a proposed fare increase; completion of staff training to ensure frontline employees are familiar with the TransLink system; and finalization of operational procedures on the BART system.
Once BART has turned on its faregates to accept TransLink, the agency will begin a "soft launch" period in which it will invite 1,000 or more customers now participating in its EZ Rider fare card demonstration to begin using TransLink to pay their BART fares and to provide feedback to BART on their experiences.
TransLink already is accepted for payment throughout the route and station networks operated by AC Transit, Golden Gate Transit & Ferry and San Francisco Muni. All TransLink cardholders will be able to use their cards on BART once the soft launch begins. But BART will advise its patrons during this period to be prepared to pay their fares another way in the event of a problem.
TransLink cards are available online at www. translink.org, or by calling the TransLink Customer Service Center at 877-878-8883 (TDD/TTY 711 or 800-735-2929). Transit riders also may obtain a TransLink card at a participating transit agency ticket office or retailer, or through a participating transit benefit program. The $5 charge for a TransLink card will be waived for customers who order their cards online and sign up for the Autoload feature that allows for value to be automatically reloaded from a credit card or bank account.
In addition to setting up Autoload, transit riders may add value to their TransLink cards online by calling the Customer Service Center, by using a self-serve Add Value Machine located in select transit stations, or by going to a participating transit agency ticket office or retail location. Patrons are invited to visit www. translink.org to learn more about obtaining and using a TransLink card.
MTC, which oversees the TransLink program, is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.