BART: Dump TransLink’s Contractor

TranslinkIf you’re wondering why those Translink devices that worked way back in 2001 are now sitting on the bus with a screen saying “Testing In Progress,” today’s news from BART may be of interest. The troubled $130 million project missed yet another deadline to make the system available throughout BART, Muni, and Caltrain by March 31. As a result, BART treasurer Scott Schroeder this week urged the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to abandon ERG, the Australian contractor running the project.

Region-wide availability of TransLink is now scheduled for 2010 – years late and millions of dollars over budget. Meanwhile London is extending the Oyster card to regional rail systems, and many other public transit systems have long since completed activation of their contactless fare card systems. Presumably one or more of these systems would be available off the shelf if Translink gets dumped?