The Bay Area Rapid Transit District has finally wised up to smartcards.
Commuters can now load a Muni Fast Pass to their TransLink card, allowing them to ride BART and Muni within San Francisco without buying separate tickets.
It's an important milestone, bringing TransLink one step closer to eliminating the need for a paper Muni pass. TransLink is not yet available on the City's iconic cable cars, but it's coming.
However, officials advise passengers to proceed with caution. The service is in the testing phase on BART and San Francisco’s Muni, so both agencies ask that you pay cash fare if the service does not work.
BART riders will need to add a “high-value discount ticket” on the TransLink website in order to start using their cards, which adds a separate BART-only account to TransLink cards for fare collection.
“It’s going to make things a lot easier for everyone,” said Lysa Hale, a spokesperson for TransLink, which was started to centralize fare collection for all of the transit agencies in the Bay Area. Hale says the launch went without any major problems.
San Francisco’s Muni, which launched a trial of the service earlier this year, is currently processing around 6,000 TransLink rides a day.
A full launch of TransLink on BART and Muni may happen in the spring of 2010.