Part of the Bay Area News Group

TransLink II: Don’t hold your breath

By queen
Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at 5:26 pm in Misc. Transportation.

First of all, the Queen would like to thank all the transit geeks who responded to her initial post about TransLink. In particular, Rebecca Saltzman, author of Oakland Living, an awesome blog that often discusses transit, came through like a trouper, even posing for a photo as she hopped aboard the bus and flashed her TransLink card. The photo, and Rebecca’s quote, will run in reporter Janis Mara’s story about TransLink in the Contra Costa Times sometime in the next week.

Also thanks to Scott Mace, who commented about BART’s e-wallet in the Queen’s initial TransLink post. Scott, seems like the dang e-wallet, which you pointed out would be a pain to commuters, might be a necessary evil in getting BART on board with TransLink (assuming that ever happens).  For an awesome analysis of the reasons BART has hesitated to hook up with TransLink, read this post in Underground Science.

When a commuter buys a ticket for $20, obviously he or she usually doesn’t immediately spend $20 on tickets, and the amount that remains in BART’s bank account is known as “the float,” Underground Science’s author, former MTC employee Garlynn Woodsong informs us.

Turns out that the e-wallet was the solution to that, BART director Tom Radulovich told Janis Mara as she researched her story.

Incidentally, SFist composed the best headline in the history of the world in a post about the subject, “It’s time to take TransLink out behind the barn and shoot it.”

Meanwhile, do you guyz think BART will ever embrace TransLink? Saltzman seems cautiously optimistic.

(Photo: didbygraham on flickr.)

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

4 Responses to “TransLink II: Don’t hold your breath”

  1. david vartanoff Says:

    Figures confirmed by transit officials range from $88 to $149 MILLION so far down the rat-hole on translink. Meanwhile it STILL does not have the capability to credit the various BART to bus, bus to BART transfers. While it certainly is faster than fumbling for change even faster are PAPER flash passes/tickets purchased off vehicle. The Chicago & North Western figured this out over fifty years for their commuter trains around Chicago. The facts have yet to change. The only system faster than a flash pass is POP/off vehicle ticket purchase, which functions well in many cities and allows all door boarding as another time saver.
    Other than corruption, what are they (MTC and all of the transit agencies) thinking?

  2. Queen Says:

    David, I’m curious to know what inspired your comment about corruption? One of our reporters is working on a story about this, and has heard about issues involving cooperation between the various agencies and legal problems. Any of that ring a bell? V. interested in your thoughts.

  3. Bruce "0le" Ohlson Says:

    Dear Queen,

    Your Highness! I LOVE your column.

    Please help me submit the following comments to BART regarding its new car design. (They are soliciting comments on the design of the 700 new BART cars that will cost $3.4 BILLION and be integrated into the system over the next 20 years The BART e-mail address that I have didn’t work. Ah well.)
    * On any new car design, there MUST be space to put oversize stuff. Bikes, strollers, luggage. Removing seats is OK. I’m tired of tripping over other people’s luggage.
    * I don’t want to see a special bike car at the end of the train. Distribute bikes in cars throughout the train.
    * I’ve seen drawings of certain potential designs that have VERY narrow aisles at each end of the car that will probably make it VERY difficult for pedestrians to walk between cars. Hey BART! Think about it! We must design the new cars so that heavily encumbered firemen can walk the length of the train in an emergency and so that passengers (following the directions of staff) can evacuate the train by walking between cars to a safe (open) door to exit to a safe place.
    * Think about “unit” trains with an open “turntable” area between cars. This would mean that the new cars would not be compatible with the old cars so during the transition, trains would have to consist of all old cars or all new cars, but using the turntable area between cars for passenger space would significantly increase the rush-hour carrying capacity of the train.

  4. Queen Says:

    The Queen is delighted to hear from you, Bruce, and she will pass your preferences along forthwith. Could you perhaps elaborate a bit on the “turntable” concept? It is fascinating.

Leave a Reply