Using Translink as Proof of Payment
Photo by Agent Akit
We’ve gotten a few complaints in the Muni Diaries inbox about using TransLink as proof of payment. If you haven’t heard, you can get free Translink cards starting today at select locations – yes, adults too. See details here.
Now, onto the inbox. I hope you won’t be running into these issues using your brand new Translink card…
Rider Deng-Kai entered the Powell station using a TransLink card and walked back upstairs to ask the station agent when the next N is coming. Upstairs, a fare inspector asked for proof of payment:
I flash my TransLink card in the air as I walk towards the booth and say, “I’m just going to ask the station agent a question.”
Fare inspector walks over to me, ask me for POP, I show my TransLink card again while I’m asking the station agent about the next train and complaining that the predictions are totally wrong. At no time does he scan my card even though I tell him to in order to properly show my POP.
I walk away muttering under my great, “God Muni sucks” Fare inspector walks over to me and says, “What did you just say to me?” I say back, “I didn’t say anything to you.” He says, “Are you giving me attitude?” I calmly say, “No, I’m not giving you attitude” He’s in my face now and starts saying stuff like, “Well if you give me attitude I can give it right back to you” and “You think you can mess with me, huh?” I don’t say anything. Then he says, “You know what, I’m going to write you up.” I ask what for and he says, failure to display POP. I contest it and refuse to sign the citation but he still gives it to me.
Separately, rider Katy asked:
I was told to get a TransLink card by a flyer I received at the Montgomery St station at the beginning of February so I bought a $5 card at a Walgreens (Fasts passes are free, why aren’t these?).
Katy’s TransLink card did not work but she didn’t have cash at the time and was about to be late for work. She was given a $75 citation at the Montgomery station when fare inspectors checked for proof of payment. She details her expense:
I will contest that since it was clear that the card had become defective by no fault of my own. But still, $75 is not something I can afford. So I called TransLink customer service expecting some sort of apology but no. I have to send back the card to Fremont so they can determine if the card is defective.
Here is my grand total for this nightmare:
$5 TransLink card + $55 balance on the card + $75 citation + $.47 stamp to send card back + $22 in fares while waiting for the TransLink card to be sent back to me = $157.47.
I checked with SFMTA: to use TransLink as proof of payment, fare inspectors need to swipe it to check the time.
Here are a few ways to protest your citation. Katy, let us know if you’re successful in protesting the citation?
And about the $5 TransLink card fee? Typically you can get the TransLink card without the $5 if you buy it online and sign up for the Autoload option (where TransLink automatically loads your card with the amount you specify if your TransLink card dips below $10.) But if you missed the beginning of the post, you can get a free card on select dates starting today to April 30 (check SFMTA’s page for exact time and location).