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EZ Rider Pilot program

I've managed to get into the EZ Rider pilot program, and am pleased with it.
This is a smart card that is auto-loaded with value from your credit card and only requires
being placed on the sensor pad on top of the fare gate for entry and exit.

I am aware that this means that I personally can be tracked on BART, and that this is not cutting edge technology, but it certainly is convenient. I also have an Oyster card, and have used that a fair amount.
df

Maybe its just me but I am

Maybe its just me but I am so tired of things that are "auto" anything from my checking account or credit card. I feel like I am giving up control of when, where and how I spend my money. Plus its a pain in the ass to get the auto payments to stop. It took me nearly a year to get it all stopped in my acocounts, never again!

ditto

ditto

What happens if you lose the

What happens if you lose the card? I would think you were screwed.

Since the card is registered

Since the card is registered to you, if you lose the card it can be disabled as soon as you notify
BART, and it costs $5. to get a new one with the value of the one you lost.

Since the card can be used without removing it from your wallet, it's much less likely to be lost.

And as far as automatic charges on my credit card, the one experience I've had with a problem with that has been positive. I DON'T allow such automatic access to my bank accounts.

I've got to say, it'd be better if we could get value added to the card with cash by going to the desks in the BART stations.

df

From the "BART EZ Rider Card

From the "BART EZ Rider Card Frequently Asked Questions" page:

What happens if my card is lost or stolen?
Call the EZ Rider Administration Center at 1-510-464-6474 to report a lost or stolen card. Your account will be blocked within one business day. Until it is blocked, you will be held liable for any rides taken using your lost or stolen EZ Rider card.

I always use Virtual Account

I always use Virtual Account Numbers, some banks offer a way to make credit card numbers for a value and or a length of time, and it's not the number on your card..
I can turn off a virtual account number from the internet, or set a limit so it can't go crazy.

close all of your accounts

close all of your accounts and move to the wilderness. problem solved.

Train Operator's picture

Personally tracked? Naw, we

Personally tracked? Naw, we already keep track of you through your cell phone. However in 2014 we will insert a tiny GPS chip into your shoulder blade. The pilot program will start with the "EZ people" list. (EZ is code for everybody zapped of course) BTW come see me and I will sell you a tinfoil hat and for a small fee erase your name on the "list"

I'm not gonna wear no damned

I'm not gonna wear no damned "Mark of the Beast" chp so I can pay for BART easier while U track me.

no more tin foil haven't you

no more tin foil

haven't you heard? they are outlawing tinfoil cause to many people are making hats and blocking the mind control chips that were implanted at birth..

(remember: for your hat to work the foil has to be shinny side out)

I got into the pilot too.

I got into the pilot too. So far seems pretty good. They do seem to have some kinks to work out still:

  • Very non-automated system for signing up and activating the card.
  • Activation instructions tell you to recite the card number on the back, but the number on the back has a lot of extra numbers surrounding the card number.
  • No way to check your balance online.
  • On a bad scan, the gate says "See agent" when you really just need to try again.
  • No provision for refilling card from a vending machine instead of using the "autofill" feature.

-- On a bad scan, the gate

-- On a bad scan, the gate says "See agent" when you really just need to try again.

Seems like if you quickly put the card down and not move it, it seems to scan better. Slow to tag or moving it gives off a beep..

-- No provision for refilling card from a vending machine instead of using the "autofill" feature.

I believe this is the future funtion of the targets you see on the front of the ticket machines and the addfares.

I didn't sign up because I

I didn't sign up because I have a TransLink card. It's a regional transit smart card that was piloted a couple years ago and will be accepted everywhere on AC Transit and Golden Gate Transit soon, and on BART next year. Go to www.translink.org for more information.

I hope the "EZ Rider"

I hope the "EZ Rider" program is only a precursor to BART's implementation of TransLink, which is supposed to finally take place sometime this year. It would make no sense to spend all this time and money on a newer technology only to keep the existing fragmentation of payment methods.

BART used to accept

BART used to accept TransLink - but because BART chose to purchase new fare gates TransLink was ditched so that BART can only use the smart card of the company that makes the fare gates. This was all due to the fact that BART was able to purchase the fare gates for a little cheaper, but the cost of the EZRider program and then the reimplimentation of TransLink will greatly outweigh the benifits.

Food for thought.

-M. Delgado

BART's parochialism borders

BART's parochialism borders on outright sabotage. I can't believe that after all these years of getting ready for TransLink, they came up with the harebrained idea to launch a parallel system. Couldn't the MTC stop them?
Someone on the board must have gotten a handsome reward from the contractor for this insanity.

fenway's picture

BART used to accept

BART used to accept TransLink - but because BART chose to purchase new fare gates TransLink was ditched so that BART can only use the smart card of the company that makes the fare gates. This was all due to the fact that BART was able to purchase the fare gates for a little cheaper, but the cost of the EZRider program and then the reimplimentation of TransLink will greatly outweigh the benifits.

What company got the faregate contract? If it is who I think it is you going to have some major problems.

I run a Boston transit blog and I would love to know if either of these companies are involved with BART

Boston problems

The automated fare machines

The automated fare machines were built by CUBIC ( C U Bums In Court). They have already started failing. Concord and Fruitvale stations were the first to get the new equipment and they are having the most problems.

BART didn't go with S & B

BART didn't go with S & B this time around. Probably due to the fact that S & B refused to service the equipment after they installed it in the "extension stations" -Pittsburg/Bay Point, North Concord, Colma.

BART doesn't like Translink because the money doesn't go directly into the BART treasury. It has to go to Translink first and then they pay BART. BART hates to give up control of the $$$$$$. Gee, you'd think they don't trust anyone.

fenway's picture

BART didn't go with S & B

BART didn't go with S & B this time around. Probably due to the fact that S & B refused to service the equipment after they installed it in the "extension stations" -Pittsburg/Bay Point, North Concord, Colma.

BART doesn't like Translink because the money doesn't go directly into the BART treasury. It has to go to Translink first and then they pay BART. BART hates to give up control of the $$$$$$. Gee, you'd think they don't trust anyone.

There are many here that wishes CUBIC had gotten the Boston contract as they have done well setting up smartcard systems in London, Chicago, Washington and Atlanta. We are hearing nothing but good reports from DC which is really BART's twin brother.

I just get the feeling S&B is in over their heads with the Boston contract.

What is really amazing here is that people seemed confused using the new fare machines and throwing away tickets that still have value as there is no easy way to transfer value on a ticket to a smartcard.

This is how bad our fare machines are
Boston fare vending machines
as just in Boston, where I am originally from, and my first experience with the Charlie Card was not pretty. I felt like I was from a foreign country trying to figure out what I was supposed to do when I got to the machine. The Budapest system was easier to figure out, and I don't even speak Hungarian. We actually had a helpful CSA (it was the Wonderland stop in Revere) who patiently walked us and three Japanese visitors through the whole thing. We missed two trains in the process, but there is no instruction on the machine or in the station (that we saw) that tells you to go and get a Charlie Card from a CSA before you start, so we kept trying to buy a card at the machine itself. I felt like a maroon. The only good thing about it is that it takes credit cards.

I just added an entry Monday evening on our Boston situation and I quoted the Boston Herald from 2002,does this info seem accurate
I'm sure by now that the $19 million "saved" has long evaporated into the ozone. It maybe years before we discover the true cost of this contract. Cubic and S&B are bitter rivals and they have had ugly clashes before. Macero wrote

In San Francisco nine years ago, Cubic gummed up a Scheidt contract to install fare systems in five stations by arguing that the "buy American" clause under the federal Transportation Act prohibited the German company from supplying components.

Cubic also used its influence as a defense contractor to get congressmen to petition the Federal Transit Administration to deny Scheidt a waiver.

Finally, they sued San Francisco's BART system to block the deal. But the suit was dismissed.

On the other hand, just three years ago the BART system tapped Cubic for a $53 million deal to replace the fare systems in all of its stations.
A curious choice in Boston

Our new faregates won't last 10 years
New Boston faregates

fenway's picture

Boston just started a

Boston just started a smartcard system on January 1. It has been having some growing pains.

Bostonians grumble about CharlieCard

The conversion to Automatic Fare Collection (AFC)

I was out in the Bay Area last spring and I was surprised at how shabby BART had become. But at least you have real time train announcements. They refuse to do that here.

BART is no longer the Number

BART is no longer the Number 1 Transit System in America. Just in case you hadn't noticed.

ANYWAYS, users of TransLink (currently about 5,000) are awaiting BART's use of TransLink. Based on past experiences with BART (and the fact TransLink is several years behind plan), I'm guessing that we should have TransLink on BART by the time we get BART to San Jose. Or at least the Oakland Airport connector.

-M. Delgado

I've been using the BART

I've been using the BART EZ-Rider card for about 3 months now, and I love it. I too will welcome the day that we can have Translink operation, because as it is now, I have both a BART EZ-Rider card and a MUNI FastPass, and it is annoying to have to switch between them.

I will only switch to Translink however if they offer a monthly pass/limit option for MUNI. You should never have to pay more than the cost of a monthly pass if you are using an automated system.

Commuter Check and

Commuter Check and EZRider
While I like the new ezrider system because it eliminates the tiny tickets and I dont have to worry about having enough cash on hand or forgetting to buy a ticket when I'm running late for a train, I dont like that it doesnt link up with the commuter check system. I have money taken out of my paycheck every month, thereby saving me some tax money, why cant they put that money onto the ezrider card instead of giving me a paper check to redeem for paper tickets? NY figured this out awhile ago. Admittedly, the system was different, but all the commuter check program did was issue "Credit cards" that loaded an online account with the money taken out of your income and you used that card to purchase metrocards. So I dont see why Bart couldnt load up the ezrider card in the same way.

When the EZRider system can

When the EZRider system can be used to pay for lapdances at BART and Muni accessible gentleman's clubs we will have arrived in the 21st century.

ekliptikz's picture

Or a gentlemens club CAR on

Or a gentlemens club CAR on the BART train itself

According to Translink and

According to Translink and BART websites, BART will make use of Translink sometime in 2007. They have a contract with Cubic for $3.4 million to bridge between EZ-Rider and Translink. I'm assuming once that's done, the pre-tax deduction to Translink will work with BART.

I'm patient because I hate carrying more than one thing. I am looking to get CommuterCheck for our employees (about 5000) and am hoping to roll it out in September. Any ideas when Translink on BART will be ready in 2007?

ekliptikz's picture

I got into the program, and

I got into the program, and I mostly just enjoy swiping my card in an elitist fashion and pretending I'm better than everyone else as I walk through the fare gate.