The Translink card promises to be the future of all Bay Area transit payments. It's a debit-style card (like BART's EZ Rider card) which allows riders to auto-charge an established amount when the card falls below a minimum.
Translink eliminates the need for multiple tickets when transferring between Bay Area transit systems such as BART, Muni, AC Transit and Golden Gate Transit. Riders don't need cash, exact change, or transfers.
The full roll-out of Translink has had significant delays, much to the disappointment of commuters looking for an all-in-one and simplified way to pay for Bay Area public transportation.
Translink electronic readers at stations and on buses and trains scan data from your card. The reader detects the available balance and deducts the current fare from that balance.
Customers Order a Translink card online. If you set it up to autoload (when the balance falls below a certain amount) the card is free. Otherwise the charge is $5.00.
You can set up autoload online (the card recharges when the balance falls below $10). You can add funds manually online, at add value machines, or at participating Translink agents. You can also purchase transit passes to be added as value to your Translink card.
Translink cards are registered online with serial numbers so that if your Translink is ever lost or stolen, the balance you've accrued is protected.