Maybe you were as excited as we were when we heard the rumor that transit payment solution Translink would be available for use on BART next week.

Your wish is about to come true. Translink will be here in about a week from now. Good on Muni, BART, and CAL Train. Say goodbye to your EZ rider, as it’ll be phased out the remaining of the year.

Said “SecretAgentMan” of the BART Rage forums. And, kids, this is why we consider the source on everything we see* on the TV with the typewriter. Because it just ain’t so. How do we know? Because we asked BART. Who referred us to their previously posted statementon TL’s launch, and added

Nothing has changed since then…it’s the same schedule with the “soft launch” testing, etc. The real date that will matter to people, when it is beyond the small group of testers and really wide open for everybody to use, is still a ways away.

Look, if our options are an untested launch today, or a tested launch later this summer, we know which one we’re picking. Until then, we’ll keep you posted, and, folks, be save on those forums.

Additional reporting by Matt Baume.

*perhaps even what you’re reading right now, how’s that for a mind trip?

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • Rita

    gaaah, this is infuriating me!!! I just sent BART an email begging to be in the soft launch group, because I already cancelled my EZ Rider access thinking Translink was going to work starting in June!!! Please BART, please!!

  • Rita

    gaaah, this is infuriating me!!! I just sent BART an email begging to be in the soft launch group, because I already cancelled my EZ Rider access thinking Translink was going to work starting in June!!! Please BART, please!!

  • Jamison Wieser

    Don’t fret, I had to read BART’s post twice, but towards the end it says anyone can use TransLink during the soft launch:

    All TransLink cardholders will be able to use their cards on BART once the soft launch begins. But BART will advise its patrons during this period to be prepared to pay their fares another way in the event of a problem.

    The invite only program is for EZ Rider users, but you can order a TransLink card right now online, at Walgreens or a bunch of other places.

  • Jamison Wieser

    Don’t fret, I had to read BART’s post twice, but towards the end it says anyone can use TransLink during the soft launch:

    All TransLink cardholders will be able to use their cards on BART once the soft launch begins. But BART will advise its patrons during this period to be prepared to pay their fares another way in the event of a problem.

    The invite only program is for EZ Rider users, but you can order a TransLink card right now online, at Walgreens or a bunch of other places.

  • Erik

    They need lots of time to test because this crazy Translink thing came out of nowhere this year and BART is scrambling to keep at the head of technological advances.

  • Erik

    They need lots of time to test because this crazy Translink thing came out of nowhere this year and BART is scrambling to keep at the head of technological advances.

  • Akit

    Doesn’t it seem a little bit funny that BART says that it’s not really “wide open for everybody to use” when their PR office says that the soft launch will allow ALL Translink cardholders to use the system?

    Sure, you won’t get a survey from them and Translink, but once the soft launch goes, it’s just free reign for anyone with the green card.

    How about a set date for that soft launch BART? Did VP Fang rattle your nerves with that $350,000 cell phone experiment?

  • Akit

    Doesn’t it seem a little bit funny that BART says that it’s not really “wide open for everybody to use” when their PR office says that the soft launch will allow ALL Translink cardholders to use the system?

    Sure, you won’t get a survey from them and Translink, but once the soft launch goes, it’s just free reign for anyone with the green card.

    How about a set date for that soft launch BART? Did VP Fang rattle your nerves with that $350,000 cell phone experiment?

  • Akit

    I should add, to quote from the MTC and BART’s PR Offices on the same press release:

    “All TransLink cardholders will be able to use their cards on BART once the soft launch begins.” (Paragraph #4, sentence #2)

    It’s the same policy Muni uses right now. With full roll-out of AC Transit and Golden Gate Transit/Ferry, they are allowed to use Muni as part of the soft launch program, but won’t be offered surveys from the SFMTA.

  • Akit

    I should add, to quote from the MTC and BART’s PR Offices on the same press release:

    “All TransLink cardholders will be able to use their cards on BART once the soft launch begins.” (Paragraph #4, sentence #2)

    It’s the same policy Muni uses right now. With full roll-out of AC Transit and Golden Gate Transit/Ferry, they are allowed to use Muni as part of the soft launch program, but won’t be offered surveys from the SFMTA.

  • Matt Baume

    That does not really seem very funny to me, no.

  • Matt Baume

    That does not really seem very funny to me, no.

  • Rita

    oh, bless you, bless you all. (I suppose I should read the PR statements before completely losing it, huh?) Everyone, you can laugh at me struggling to get through the side door after I completely screw up my first Translink swipe attempt!

  • Rita

    oh, bless you, bless you all. (I suppose I should read the PR statements before completely losing it, huh?) Everyone, you can laugh at me struggling to get through the side door after I completely screw up my first Translink swipe attempt!

  • ////

    I moved to the Bay in 1993. They were already talking about a universal transit card then. Translink became a *working pilot program* in 2002. Seven years later and we’re still in testing? Are you kidding me? I’m sure that folks who’ve worked on the project have a legion of answers to the question “WHAT IS SO FUCKING HARD ABOUT THIS?” but that it has taken so incredibly long is a testament to how hard it is to do Big Regional Things in the Bay Area. (New Bay Bridge: yeah, I’m lookin’ at you, too.)

    Eight or nine years from now when all our transit systems honor Translink, I hope you’ll all join me for a daylong all-systems encircle-the-bay transit-hopping marathon. Until then, enjoy the kvetching. 🙂

  • ////

    I moved to the Bay in 1993. They were already talking about a universal transit card then. Translink became a *working pilot program* in 2002. Seven years later and we’re still in testing? Are you kidding me? I’m sure that folks who’ve worked on the project have a legion of answers to the question “WHAT IS SO FUCKING HARD ABOUT THIS?” but that it has taken so incredibly long is a testament to how hard it is to do Big Regional Things in the Bay Area. (New Bay Bridge: yeah, I’m lookin’ at you, too.)

    Eight or nine years from now when all our transit systems honor Translink, I hope you’ll all join me for a daylong all-systems encircle-the-bay transit-hopping marathon. Until then, enjoy the kvetching. 🙂