7 comments

  • Been working fine so far on both MUNI and BART. Once in a while, the reader won’t pick up my card immediately, so I have to swipe it again, but that’s the only problem I’ve had. Well, okay, sometimes the MUNI driver hasn’t turned it on, but they always just wave me on.

  • Erik

    You aren’t supposed to “swipe” anything. Hold the card still on the sensor until the machine reads it.

  • “Swipe” was a bad word to use. I know to touch the card onto the sensor, but that still doesn’t work the first time 100% of the time.

  • Devin

    Two fastpass-on-translink months plus a couple of experimental cash-on-translink rides, no serious issues. BART’s fare gates read too slow — be prepared for a half-second of extra latency which will start to get really old after the tenth or so trip, while wondering what it’s going to do to the lines in the downtown SF stations during peak commute hours when everyone has these things and gets slowed down by that small increment. Also the gates fail to read entirely about one time in ten. That’s about it, no other troubles. The extra latency on card reading suggests a modest and correctable set of implementation flaws; the read error rate is at least consistent with the generally dumb design of BART’s faregates, which is hardly news.

    Purely by way of comparison, EZ Rider drops one tag-in or -out of five, requiring a spurious and probably costly extra tag on the wrong side so it’ll let you through, or paralyzes the card entirely in a way resolvable by a station agent with their little USB RFID reader if you’re lucky, or the mythical EZ Rider Customer Service Center if not.

    Oh, and one more odd thing about Translink: when you visit their website and click to view a history of card activity, it opens a trouble ticket, and about a week later a human emails you a PDF. WTF, as they say.

  • Erik

    I remember reading a while ago that the card use history info can’t (or won’t) be hooked up to the website, so the only way to get that information is for someone with access to that system to manually generate the report you want, hence the helpdesk request.

  • jeff

    for more BART-related comments on this point, see this post on Muni Diaries.

  • Summer

    So far, pretty good. I use TransLink mostly on MUNI, and mostly on the Underground, and it works. Occasionally, I will find a 22 or a 24 whose Translink readers are not turned on (or they’re broken) and I can’t verify my card thereby planting horrifying thoughts in my head about the bald, female MUNI cop who berates passengers no matter what kind of proof of payment they have. But mostly it’s been good. I love the ability to use BART with my TransLink card. Oh, the joy of having only one card for all my public transportation needs.

    That said, I really wish there were an easier way to check my account balance online instead of having to call the recorded customer service phone number.

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