Transbay passengers are making the move to TransLink to reduce boarding times during the construction of a new San Francisco Transbay Terminal, AC Transit agreed to discontinue the use of transbay magnetic-strip (paper) tickets on all transbay lines. AC Transit stopped selling transbay magnetic-strip tickets on all transbay lines on June 19, 2009. Buses will stop accepting these tickets on all transbay lines as of September 30, 2009. This means that starting October 1, 2009, passengers will no longer be able to use the 10-Ride and 31-Day transbay tickets for rides across the Bay.
Instead, passengers will use TransLink cards or pay their fares in cash. Former 10-Ride ticket users will be able to load any amount of cash ("e-cash") -- up to $100 at one time -- onto a TransLink card, which then deducts the fare each time it is tagged on the bus. 31-Day ticket customers will be able to load the equivalent of a 31-Day ticket onto their TransLink card.
The elimination of transbay magnetic-strip tickets includes AC Transit lines operating over the Dumbarton and San Mateo bridges. Likewise, passengers on these lines will also pay fares with TransLink, cash, or other accepted fare media from connecting operators. The new fare plan only applies to transbay fares and does not affect either local 10-Ride and 31-Day tickets or UC Berkeley students with ID cards and valid Class Pass stickers. Passengers are encouraged to use up their existing tickets as soon as possible and make their next fare purchase ("e-cash" if you currently use 10-Ride tickets, or a 31-Day pass) on a free TransLink card available at AC Transit's ticket offices in downtown Oakland and at the Transbay Terminal in San Francisco.
The ticket office at the existing Terminal will close permanently at day's end Friday, September 18. There will be details available at the Terminal, as well as on online, about how to load TransLink cards or exchange unused transbay tickets after that date. Since June 22, passengers have had the opportunity to exchange their unused tickets for the equivalent value on a TransLink card. Exchanges can be made currently at the two ticket offices.