Hey, looks like TransLink customer service had it right — today BART announced that you will be able to use your TransLink card on BART as of Monday, August 3. (Props go to Akit, who had this news up on his site almost as soon as @SFBART hit “update” on their tweet on the news.)

Key point: “During this observation period, it may be possible to use a TransLink card on the fare gates, but because of the chance of software or hardware issues, it is not recommended.” OOOOOOHHHHH SCARY. Let’s saw we’re willing to live dangerously and will be giving this shit a shot come Monday. You try it, too, and let us know how it goes.

Here’s BART’s announcement, in its entirety:

On Sunday, August 2, 2009, BART fare gates will receive a software upgrade that will allow the acceptance of TransLink cards in preparation for the limited rollout of TransLink fare payment throughout the system on Monday, August 3. BART engineers will observe the system as the new software is integrated. During this observation period, it may be possible to use a TransLink card on the fare gates, but because of the chance of software or hardware issues, it is not recommended.

Select BART EZ Rider cardholders will be invited to try out TransLink on BART and give us feedback on their experience starting August 3. This group will involve a limited number of participants.

Anyone else with a TransLink card is welcome to use it on BART once the limited rollout period begins on August 3, as long as they have a TransLink card loaded with sufficient e-cash (electronic cash), an adult Muni Fast Pass, or a BART High Value Discount ticket (which can only be added online at www.translink.org beginning Monday, August 3). You can sign up for a TransLink card at any time through the TransLink website: www.translink.org.

Because passengers are always responsible for fare payment, please be sure to bring along other means of payment such as an EZ Rider card, a BART blue ticket or cash as a backup during the limited rollout of TransLink on BART.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BART’S TRANSLINK ROLLOUT

Q: When does the BART TransLink limited rollout period begin and end?
A: It will start Monday, August 3, 2009 and continue for about five months.

Q: What is the limited rollout?
A: The rollout will involve a limited number of BART EZ Rider customers who will be invited to use TransLink transit cards on BART and other participating transit systems.

Q: If I already have a TransLink card, for use on Muni, for example, can I use my card on BART during the rollout period?
A: Even if you’re not part of the rollout group, your TransLink card will work on BART after the rollout period begins August 3. To work on BART, your TransLink card must be loaded with e-cash (electronic cash), a BART High Value Discount ticket (which can only be added online at www.translink.org beginning Monday, August 3) or a Muni Fast Pass (for travel between BART stations within San Francisco only). Please be sure to bring along other means of payment as backup during the rollout period.

Q: If I’m not invited to participate in the rollout group, can I apply for a TransLink card anyway and try it out on BART during the rollout period?
A: Yes.

Q: I use pre-tax vouchers to pay for my BART High Value Discount ticket. Can I use vouchers when I sign up online to add the High Value Discount to my TransLink card?
A: No. At this time the High Value Discount ticket is only available through autoload on your TransLink card. Autoload payments are linked to a credit card.

Q: Should I continue to carry my EZ Rider card or a BART ticket after I get a TransLink card?
A: Yes. Passengers are always responsible for fare payment. Please be sure to bring along other means of payment such as an EZ Rider card, a BART blue ticket or cash as backup during the rollout period.

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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  • wcj1

    I think the observation/not recommended part means that you are not supposed to try and use it on Sunday while they are installing it. Fair enough.

    Very excited to finally use my Translink card when I come out to the Bay area this upcoming weekend. I have been holding onto it for way too long.

    BillJ

  • wcj1

    I think the observation/not recommended part means that you are not supposed to try and use it on Sunday while they are installing it. Fair enough.

    Very excited to finally use my Translink card when I come out to the Bay area this upcoming weekend. I have been holding onto it for way too long.

    BillJ

  • Rita

    hooray!!! Okay, onto my NEXT burning question re Translink. When’s Translink coming to Caltrain????

  • Rita

    hooray!!! Okay, onto my NEXT burning question re Translink. When’s Translink coming to Caltrain????

  • Anonymous

    I tried my AC Transit Translink card at Fruitvale and 12 Street City Center, afraid that the fare gates would not open in time for me to catch the train arriving at the time.

    It worked and I caught my train, though I only loaded $1.75 on the card to test it for the first time. $1.75 because that is less that the minimum AC Transit adult fare and the bus will not mistakenly charge me more when I have already loaded a discounted pass.

    Next, I am going to try loading a High Value Discount Card and E-cash to see if it will conflict with my AC Transit bus pass; my only fear is that if I load E-cash to the card, the bus fare boxes will take THAT at full price instead of my discounted bus pass.

    For now, I am giddy over the mere implementation of the technology. I never knew “tap and go” could be so cool!

  • Anonymous

    I tried my AC Transit Translink card at Fruitvale and 12 Street City Center, afraid that the fare gates would not open in time for me to catch the train arriving at the time.

    It worked and I caught my train, though I only loaded $1.75 on the card to test it for the first time. $1.75 because that is less that the minimum AC Transit adult fare and the bus will not mistakenly charge me more when I have already loaded a discounted pass.

    Next, I am going to try loading a High Value Discount Card and E-cash to see if it will conflict with my AC Transit bus pass; my only fear is that if I load E-cash to the card, the bus fare boxes will take THAT at full price instead of my discounted bus pass.

    For now, I am giddy over the mere implementation of the technology. I never knew “tap and go” could be so cool!