We’ve gotten a lot of questions about TransLink’s rollout on BART, and articles talking about e-purses and float just seem to confuse folks more. Well, hell, that’s what we’re here for. Let us get to the bottom of some of these for you.
Float? E-Purse? What. Will I have to do something weird to get BART-usable money onto my TransLink card?
BART spokesperson Linton Johnson tells us, “no.” He says “As far as I know, a Translink customer loads up her/his card with money and the fare gets deducted from that balance – regardless of which transit agency they use.”
OK, so the “as far as I know” part scares us a little, but let’s chalk that up to spokespersonspeak. So the money you put on your TransLink card works universally, you will not have to dedicate specific funds for specific agencies. Whew.
Speaking of TransLink on BART, when is that going to happen?
Johnson says “It could take up to a year before we do a full fledge launch to
This is not a terribly satisfying answer, sooooo
But what about that “soft launch” when the TransLink transponders will be activated in BART stations? When is that, and can any TransLink Card holder take advantage of the TL system then?
Yes, Johnson says, technically anybody with a TL card can use TL once the faregates are set up to accept the cards. Ok, now we’re getting somewhere. But of course there’s a “but.”
“However, we are not going to make a big deal about the fact that anyone can use it. In fact, we aren’t really giving out the time and date to anyone about when our soft launch will be. The only people who will know are our preselected EZ Rider users. Once that’s done (could be up to a year) then we will have our full fledge launch, which will inform everyone in the public about the fact that they can use TL on BART.”
OK, this is not a terribly satisfying answer. So, here’s our solution: let’s form a club, we’ll call it the IllumiBARTi. Let’s all keep an eye on those TransLink transponders at the fare gates, and as soon as we see one in use, let us know and we’ll tell the world. Deal? Deal.
Got other questions? Leave them in the comments, or send them our way.
Photo illustration: Matt Baume