Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District

September 14, 2007





TransLink Card

How It Works

TransLink is EASY! The handy, sleek TransLink smart card (about the size of a credit card) keeps the cash you would normally use to pay transit fares or buy value cards on one smart card, eliminating the need for transit passes and transfers. The TransLink card automatically deducts the correct fare, including the appropriate discount and transfers, for each transit trip. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.


To Open and Maintain a TransLink Account

  • Order a TransLink card online at, by phone (1-877-878-8883, or TDD/TTY 711 or 1-800-735-2929) or by mail from the TransLink Customer Service Center at PO Box 318, Concord, CA 94522-0318.
  • An Autoload feature allows TransLink customers to add value to their cards automatically from a bank account or credit card.  TransLink cards normally cost $5 but will be issued free of charge to customers who set up Autoload when requesting a card. TransLink also offers card replacement and balance restoration for customers who register their cards. Registration is free and can be completed easily online, over the phone or by mail.
  • Customers can add electronic cash (e-cash) to their TransLink cards online at, by phone (1-877-878-8883, or TDD/TTY 711 or 1-800-735-2929) or at TransLink Ticket Office Terminals available at both the Larkspur and San Francisco Ferry Terminal ticket windows and the lobby window in the District Administrative Offices at 1011 Andersen Drive in San Rafael. Customers can search for other TOTs on the TransLink website.
  • Freestanding Add Value Machines (AVM) allow customers to add value (e-cash) to their TransLink cards 24 hours a day, and are located at the Larkspur and San Francisco Ferry Terminals, Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza bus shelters, in San Rafael at the San Rafael Transit Center and the District Administrative Offices at 1011 Andersen Drive, and in the terminal lobby at the GGT bus terminal in Santa Rosa at Piner & Industrial. Customers can search for other AVMs on the TransLink website.
  • TransLink retail outlets are located throughout the Golden Gate service area. Retail outlets can sell cards and add value to a card. To run a simple search for outlets by zip code, visit the TransLink website.
Card Reader

"Tagging" a Card Reader


Additional TransLink Specifics for GGT and GGF

All participating Bay Areas transit systems have unique operating characteristics that are captured in the TransLink program. The following are a few of the key TransLink highlights specific to GGT and GGF.

GGT and GGF Fares and TransLink: All GGT and GGF fare structures are incorporated into the TransLink system:

  • TransLink cards are available for adults, seniors (65+), youth (age 6 to 18) and persons with disabilities.
  • The card has the appropriate discount encoded on it so TransLink automatically calculates the appropriate discounted fare for GGT and GGF users.
  • Adults receive the same frequent rider discounts they used to get by using ticket books and Value Cards.
  • Seniors, youth, and persons with disabilities using TransLink continue to receive a 50% discount off the adult cash fare.

Using TransLink on Golden Gate Ferry: TransLink card reader devices are installed at the Larkspur and San Francisco Ferry Terminal fare gates. GGF customers must “tag” card by placing it flat against the TransLink logo on the card reader and hold for the audible beep. The appropriate ferry fare is then deducted from the TransLink card. GGF passengers on the Sausalito Ferry to San Francisco “tag” a card reader as they leave the ferry terminal in San Francisco.

Using TransLink on Golden Gate Transit: When customers board a GGT bus, they must “tag” card by placing it against the TransLink logo on the card reader located in the entrance area of the bus and hold for the audible beep. At the completion of their trip, customers must “tag” their card again so the appropriate bus fare is deducted from their TransLink card. If a customer does not “tag off”, they may be assessed the highest discounted fare from their zone of origin.

Transfers between Golden Gate Transit and AC Transit: If a customer is transferring between GGT Routes 40 and 42 and AC Transit, the TransLink card electronically processes the transfer automatically and deducts the correct fare. The TransLink card keeps track of prior rides and automatically provides the correct transfer discount, where appropriate.

Transfers between Golden Gate Transit & Ferry and Muni: Effective April 1, 2010, a new transfer agreement between Golden Gate and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority (Muni) provides a discount for TransLink users transferring between Golden Gate Transit bus or Golden Gate Ferry and Muni. Adult TransLink customers transferring from Golden Gate Transit or Golden Gate Ferry to Muni will receive a 50-cent credit on their Muni TransLink fare (excludesMuni Period Pass users and cash-paying customers). And TransLink customers transferring from Muni to Golden Gate Transit or Golden Gate Ferry will receive a fare credit (50-cents for adults, 25-cents for youth/senior/disabled) on their Golden Gate TransLink fare (excludes Muni Fast Pass TransLink and cash-paying customers). When on Muni, a TransLink card will act as the Proof of Payment (POP) and may be scanned by Muni Officers for verification.


Card Balance and Adding Value to your Card

You can check your card balance by looking at the TransLink card reader display when tagging your card, by calling the TransLink Customer Service Center at 1-877-878-8883 (TTY/TDD 711 or 1-800-735-2929), or by visiting a self-serve Add Value Machine, a participating transit agency ticket office, or a participating store displaying the TransLink logo. For locations, visit or call the Customer Service Center.

You can add value to your TransLink card at a transit agency’s ticket office or at an AVM. AVMs are located at the San Francisco Ferry Terminal, Larkspur Ferry Terminal, Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza bus stops, San Rafael Transit Center, GGT's San Rafael bus facility (1011 Andersen Dr), and GGT's Santa Rosa bus lot (Piner & Industrial). AVMs accept cash, debit, and major credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, and Discover).

Using an Add Value Machine

For complete information, including how TransLink works with employee transit benefit programs, how to report a lost, stolen or damaged card, and how transfers between bus and/or ferry and other transit agencies, refer to the Frequently Asked Questions.

Contact Information

TransLink Customer Service Center

1-877-878-8883 (TTY/TDD 711 or 1-800-735-2929)



A survey of Bay Area voters showed that 76% of respondents ranked a universal transit fare card as their top requested transportation improvement. In response, MTC and Bay Area transit agencies are introducing TransLink, a smart card fare payment technology that allows public transit riders to use Bay Area public transit without worrying about the varying fare structures on different transit systems and without having to carry cash, ticket books or passes. Golden Gate Transit and Golden Gate Ferry, along with AC Transit and Dumbarton Express, are the first transit agencies to roll out the program!