Translink Implementation Delayed for BART, Muni, Caltrain

18 Apr

While I’ve been enjoying using my Translink card on AC Transit for nearly a year now – and especially since it’s started saving me money – I was really looking forward to using it on BART and Muni. It’s frustrating to have to carry around a Translink card, a BART card, and change for Muni. Sometimes, I just end up walking in San Francisco because I don’t have the right change for Muni.

Back in October, I noticed a Translink reader on a Muni bus so I naively thought it wouldn’t be long before I could forget about the change and get rid of my BART card. But, I guess I shouldn’t have been so optimistic. The Chronicle reported today that the estimated implementation date of Translink on Muni and Caltrain has been moved back to July 15 and BART won’t come on board until September 25. And it gets worse:

But because of continued problems with software developed by an outside contractor, even those dates might get pushed back, MTC officials warned.

“The finish line keeps getting pushed back. We’re not happy,” said MTC executive director Steve Heminger.

I’m not happy either. Oh well, at least I can still enjoy using Translink in the East Bay.

6 Responses to “Translink Implementation Delayed for BART, Muni, Caltrain”

  1. Jame April 20, 2008 at 8:55 pm #

    I am holding my breath that Translink will every be bay area wide. I did the first trial back in 2000 or 2001. And we are still waiting. Maybe in 2010.

  2. Becks April 20, 2008 at 9:44 pm #

    Wow – I didn’t know they started planning Translink that long ago. Hopefully we won’t be waiting that long for full implementation, but who knows. It seems like it would be pretty simple to implement on Muni since they’d be using the same card readers as AC Transit. But BART could take a lot longer since the payment system is so different.

  3. Mike May 19, 2008 at 5:37 pm #

    London (a far bigger system than the Bay Area) has launched the Oyster contactless card in 2003 and it’s wildly successful. And speaking of 2003, that year I visited Hong Kong and there I was using their Octopus contactless card not only for transit, but even for purchases at the local 7-Elevens; the Octopus system was launched in 1997, 11 years ago.

    We may live close to the Silicon Valley, but certainly our local government is eons away from it — even Boston has a working contactless system for its transit (the CharlieCard).

    An interesting statistic: Hong Kongers take 2.1 seconds to go through the turnstiles with the Octopus card: compare this with how long it takes for Muni to load people!

  4. Orville Jackson May 23, 2008 at 9:18 am #

    The crazy thing is, MUNI is missing out on major fare revenue from slackers like me, who just ride for free when they don’t have change. If they could actually manage this project and implement the Translink system they’d probably see more people start to pay their fares. Ah, the irony.

  5. Chrisfs August 10, 2008 at 2:20 pm #

    According to Caltrain, they have started accepting Translink, and I know I used it on Muni metro a few weeks ago. Looks like it’s becing a reality. Only Bart needs to accept it now….
    Then it would be awesome

  6. Elizabeth Fong August 29, 2008 at 2:39 pm #

    Chrisfs: doesn’t appear to be true on Caltrain – I was thrown off a train this week for paying using Translink and forced to buy a second ticket; the translink purchase was in fact charged to my account, so it was a real catch-22.

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