More on Translink Testing (Sign up now)

December 11th, 2008

TranslinkToday’s Chronicle has more details on the long-delayed, but now almost fully operational, Translink system for Muni and regional fare payment. Muni is looking for more riders to test the system and provide feedback. You can sign up now at the Translink website.

Note that you can’t use it on cable cars or BART, so if you use your fast pass to ride either of these, you’ll need to wait. But if you normally pay cash or just use your fast pass on Muni buses and light rail, it’s well worth joining the trial as boarding is a lot faster with the Translink card.

Muni Looking For Translink Testers Again

September 23rd, 2008

TranslinkDo you have an old but still functional TransLink card from the testing back in 2001? Or are you a current user of the card on Golden Gate or AC? You’re in luck, Muni is looking for testers again. Sign up and post your feedback!

Note that if you have a working card, Translink mostly works NOW. Just use your card on any reader that says “Testing In Progress.” However, some do not work and not all operators are familiar with the system, so always keep $1.50 on hand in case you need to pay cash. You’ll need to add cash to the card at the Add Value Machines located in the downtown BART/Muni stations, or online.

(Found on Akit’s blog. Also, covered in the Chronicle.)

BART: Dump TransLink’s Contractor

February 27th, 2008

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?

TransLink: More Delays?

August 14th, 2007

TranslinkThe Metropolitan Transportation Commission has been working on implementing a region-wide electronic farecard, called TransLink, for some years now. The current plan is to expand it to Muni, BART, and Caltrain by the end of 2007 (hence the readers you see on streetcars, and the apparently non-functional metal boxes with TransLink logo you see on many buses). But there are likely to be more delays, according to a report in today’s Chronicle. The Examiner also reports.

(Many other transit systems have used cards like this for years – e.g. Oyster, Octopus, SmarTrip, Suica. However these have generally been slower to be adopted in the US than in Europe and Asia.)