UPDATE 5:13 PM: Tin hat brigade, we just took one for your team: while BART spokesperson Luna Salaver is working to get us more information on the causes behind the delays, we asked her what many of you have asked us: Is BART management holding TransLink hostage until after negotiations are completed?

Salavar’s response “The status of the TransLink implementation and BART’s current labor negotiations are not related.” She also wondered what would be the point of an action like that, and, honestly, we can’t think of a good reason one would involve the other. How about y’all? X-Files it up in the comments!

UPDATE 4:08 PM: This is disappointing! We just heard from BART spokesperson Luna Salaver, who says “We had really hoped to have good news this evening about TransLink, but it’s not to be. I just got word at 3:45 PM today that nothing new about TransLink will be posted on www.bart.gov.” We’re trying to get more details on this, and will tell you more when we know more.

3:00 PM: Previously: We started a loose assembly of BART TransLink testers, the IllumiBARTi, who will keep trying their TL card on BART turnstiles in an effort to make their “soft launch” a little less so. We noted that the “early summer” deadline had passed. SAme thing on July 9. We were about to give up all hope, when…

IllumiBARTi member David wrote in to say “I was on the phone with Translink replacing my card the other day and I asked the customer service rep when BART would accept Translink. She told me BART said Aug 1.”

August 1, eh? We at the Appeal called TransLink, ourselves, and were quoted a date of August 3 for BART TransLink implementation. So, what’s the deal?

We asked BART spokesperson Linton Johnson, who passed us on to Public Information Officer Luna Salaver.

She was reluctant to commit to a date, perhaps recalling the premature announcements like (most recently) “the system should be fully installed and tested by May 5. TransLink should be ready for BART riders about 30 days after that.” WHOOPS.

When we pressed her (mainly out of a desire to avoid angry email from Akit) on why, even now, she couldn’t give us a date, she said “there are still some things that need to be ironed out.” Folks, this does not sound good. But, fingers crossed, we pushed on.

She finally told us we should “base coverage on a BART TransLink start date and what customers can expect on the information that will be posted on our site. Start checking after 5:00 p.m. on July 29.”

We asked her Seriously, the best thing you can offer us is to go to your site at 5 and to start hitting refresh? (we’ll note that you can just subscribe to their RSS feed) You’re not sending out a media alert or doing any other outreach to reporters? “No, this is a soft launch. You’ll just have to keep checking our website.”

Though we haven’t actually gone to a website and frantically hit “refresh” since we were trying to get opening-night Phantom Menace tickets (wow that worked out great), guess that’s what we’ll do. Stay tuned!

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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