BART Begins Allowing Use of Translink Cards

By Bay City News Service
Thursday August 06, 2009 - 10:37:00 AM

BART this week began allowing payments through TransLink, becoming the latest Bay Area transit agency to use the “smart card” fare collection system. 

To use a TransLink card, a customer must electronically load money onto it using a credit or debit card, and then touch the Translink card to a plastic card reader located on top of BART station fare gates. 

Technicians turned on the equipment at the various stations on Sunday, but the official rollout for the program began Monday, BART spokesperson Jim Allison said. He said that about 250 customers used TransLink on BART Monday. 

In addition to BART, TransLink cards are accepted on Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District vehicles, Golden Gate Transit buses and the Golden Gate Ferry, and the Dumbarton Express, a bus service between the Union City BART station and Palo Alto Caltrain station. 

San Francisco Municipal Railway is also allowing the use of TransLink cards on all of its vehicles except for cable cars. 

BART officials are encouraging people to bring other means of payment as well, in case any mechanical problems occur during the rollout. 

The rollout period for the TransLink cards will last about five months while BART deals with any technical issues that might affect the program, according to Allison.