BART cards demagnetizing – zoinks, a mystery

Here they are – 4, count them 4, demagnetized BART cards – it’s up to $100 worth, a freaking BART401k savings account. One lasted a meager 40 feet from purchase to demagnetization. The BART employees say you can go to their special station and get the value back, but who has time for that, and, I would need to to buy another ticket to get there! it’s a trap! Further testing is needed, I’ve tried to demagnetize them with cell phones and credit cards purposely (this is what the BART employees say kills the cards) – but in a controlled enviroment I cannot reproduce what seems to happen when I actually need to go somewhere and don’t have time to play Magneto. Developing story…

Resources and reference:

  • BART cards – Link.
  • 3 BART cards demagnetized 6/2005 – Link.
  • “BART tickets are easily demagnetized (by credit cards) and destroyed by water.” – Link.
  • Eel skin wallets and credit cards, Mythbusters – Link.
  • Magnetic Stripe – Link.
  • MTC Transit connectivity study (they note card demagnetization) – Link (PDF).
  • Google – “Demagnetized BART cards” – Link.

3 Comments so far

  1. Nicole Lee (unregistered) on March 27th, 2006 @ 11:06 am

    You know a really good way to demagnetize them? Place them right on top of a Sidekick for a few minutes (okay maybe an hour).

    I know this because I’ve mistakenly placed my passes right next to my Sidekick in my bag. Only to find them completely useless when I attempt to use them. I think it’s because the Sidekick has such a strong magnet in its swiveling mechanism.

  2. Alicia (unregistered) on March 28th, 2006 @ 4:58 pm

    I had this problem until I started carrying them in my wallet (which ironically has a magnetic snap) and not in my jeans pocket. Is it possible that body heat has an effect? What’s the NĂ©el temperature for a BART card?

  3. Vera (unregistered) on March 30th, 2006 @ 1:03 pm

    Mine were demagnetized because of the magnetic clasp of my purse. I doubt that’s your problem though!

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