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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Bay Area prepares to expand smart-card pilot


Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and six Bay Area transit providers March 20 decided to expand their six-month pilot program for the TransLink® regional fare payment system; MTC plans to issue as many as 3,000 additional "smart cards" to program volunteers during the next few weeks.

MTC issued 4,300 cards to volunteers in late January and began the pilot Feb. 1. The cards can be used on selected routes and in certain stations serving AC Transit, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Caltrain, Golden Gate Transit, San Francisco Municipal Railway and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.

"The whole point of the pilot program is to gather information so we can fine-tune TransLink® and make it work on every transit system in the Bay Area," said MTC’s TransLink® Project Manager Russell Driver in a prepared statement. "We quickly decided that we wanted to open the system up to a lot more users than we originally thought."

So MTC is expanding the program and targeting those volunteers who likely would use the cards for at least two round-trips weekly. MTC officials also plan to implement TransLink® throughout Muni’s light-rail system.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/22/2002