County hearning on magnetic-strip tickets

February 2, 2009 9:36:55 AM PST
The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District Board of Directors is holding a public hearing Wednesday to receive comments on a proposed plan to eliminate magnetic-strip tickets on all transbay bus lines.

The fare plan has been proposed to speed up commutes during the construction of the new Transbay Terminal, according to AC Transit.

AC Transit operates 26 bus lines into the San Francisco Transbay Terminal, which will be demolished this year to make way for a new Transbay Transit Center that is scheduled to open in 2014.

A temporary terminal will open this fall at Beale and Howard streets, and all transbay service will operate there for about five years, according to AC Transit.

Because the temporary location will be more constrained than the existing terminal, the wait-times for buses will be reduced, according to AC Transit officials, who say the proposed elimination of the magnetic-strip tickets is essential to keep buses on schedule.

The proposed elimination of the tickets would apply throughout the AC Transit service area, including lines serving the Dumbarton and San Mateo bridges.

Passengers would instead pay fares with TransLink or cash at the terminal entrance. The elimination of the magnetic-fare tickets is also a step toward AC Transit's goal of making TransLink, a smart card fare collection system, as the primary form of payment for all passengers.

The public hearing is taking place at 4:30 p.m. at the Transbay Joint Powers Authority Conference Room at 201 Mission St., Suite 2100 in San Francisco, and is expected to last until at least 6:30 p.m.

In addition to the hearing, public comments can be submitted in writing on or before 6:30 p.m. Wednesday by e-mail at, by mail to AC Transit Board of Directors, 1600 Franklin St., Oakland, 94612, or by fax to (510) 891-4874.

Comments can also be submitted via an online comment form at http:/, or by voicemail by calling (510) 891-4854.