Translink, you’re breaking my heart

I finally (finally!) got my Translink card. So excited! It now joins my BART EZ Rider card, my MBTA CharlieCard and my WMATA SmarTrip card.

(Aside: TTC and (NY)MTA, get on this.)

Inside the envelope are several letters and brochures. I head to the Translink web site to add funds to my card.

Fail #1 Nowhere on the front page do the words “add funds” or “add value” appear. If you go to site map, aside from the two “Register your card” links, under “Get TransLink®”, there’s an Add value online link. Finally!

(Please drop the ®. It’s unnecessary, ugly, and impairs readability and scanability.)

But, there were two problems. First, they don’t take American Express. Boo. But the larger, more catastrophic problem:

Fail #2: It may take up to 72 hours for the value you ordered to be added to your card.

Seriously? Funds need to be added in real time. Period.

There are a few more problems with the web site. On the home page, there’s a box with contact information, including an email address. But they’ve made it so hard to use. The email address isn’t even a link. (And selecting it is hard, too, because it’s buried under several layers.) Look:

<li><span class="standout">Email:</span> <a href="mailto:#" accesskey="e">[email protected]</a></li>

And when you hit the home page, you get five different 301 or 302 redirects:;jsessionid=tCfKg-cBzZp4P1P1GuMtBQ**


What kind of a URL is;jsessionid=tCfKg-cBzZp4P1P1GuMtBQ** anyway?

Recommended reading for the Translink webmasters: URL as UI and Cool URIs don’t change.

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1 Comment

  1. Fail #3: Can’t show balance on

    If you click on “Request balance” on the website, it shows a blurb about visiting a Add Value Machine or calling a 1-877 number to get the balance. Also, the telephone method gives the balance on the end of the previous business day not the current balance.

    Fail #4: Requesting card activity takes days

    Your ride history doesn’t show up on the website. You have to submit a web form that requests them to send the history to you over email. Last time I did it, it took almost a week to send SOMEONE elses information.

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