• Ring of Steel: Fare Gates at BOS, BON, & BBY

  • Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.
Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

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  by ExCon90
 
It is a good system, and works well wherever it is properly designed and managed. There are a few properties where there seems to be a mindset that "POP doesn't work"; the problem is how to change some minds.
  by MACTRAXX
 
Noel Weaver wrote:I think proof of payment is the best way for the MBTA to go on their commuter trains. Sure a few will get away without paying but the penalty can be quite stiff and a good stiff penalty would be very effective to combat those who would try to take advantage of the system. Here in South Florida Tri-Rail runs 25 trains each way Monday through Friday and sure sometimes I don't get checked but more than half of the time I get checked both ways. Those without valid transportation get wacked with a summons and have to appear in court. I think the penalties range upwards of $50.00, maybe much more. They often remove them from the train as well and that can be nasty in this case. The officers on the trains have arrest powers and are armed so the ones who get nailed generally don't give them too much guff. In the case of Boston you would probably need a higher number of officers because they carry a lot more folks on longer trains but the system works and works quite well. We have both passes which you tap on or tap off and they also work on Miami Dade Transit trains and you get a transfer discound and a senior discount as well if you are 65 or over. Another plus when somebody starts causing trouble on the train the conductor does not have to call for a cop, there is already one on each and every train. I think it is a good system.
Noel Weaver
NW and Everyone:

After reading your thoughts on POP use on MBTA Commuter Rail I think it can be implemented for
a test on a single isolated line that is at least somewhat separate from other routes: The Worcester
Line or Needham Line into South Station or the Fitchburg Line into North Station come to mind...

If the testing is successful extend POP to other routes over a period of time - it may turn out that
for example it may be easier to implement POP on all four North Station routes then it would be
for the more elaborate and far flung South Station routes.

Changes may include on board train crew members and staffing and the use of MBTA and local
police to enforce POP rules when any fare changes go into effect...

I do think that gates can present their own set of problems - for example with SEPTA Regional
Rail only the University City Station has been equipped fully with gates for Key card use which
is to be a test bed of sorts to see if these gates will work or if they will be a detriment to riders.

What POP could do is help with fare collection problems if it is properly implemented.
GO Transit in Toronto is a good example of a large rail system that fully uses POP...

MACTRAXX
  by RenegadeMonster
 
Anyone have more info on fare gates being installed at North Station over the next couple weeks. One of the conductors on my train mentioned it about a week and a half ago.
  by deathtopumpkins
 
Nothing in the news as of late, or that I can find on the T website, but I noted at North Station yesterday that there's a ~10' wide strip in front of the doors the whole length of the concourse painted with stripes and a message not to stand there. Guessing this is where they're planning on checking tickets.

News articles from earlier this summer said gates could appear "by winter".
  by Diverging Route
 
deathtopumpkins wrote:Nothing in the news as of late, or that I can find on the T website, but I noted at North Station yesterday that there's a ~10' wide strip in front of the doors the whole length of the concourse painted with stripes and a message not to stand there. Guessing this is where they're planning on checking tickets.

News articles from earlier this summer said gates could appear "by winter".
Update from The Boston Globe.
  by RenegadeMonster
 
Thanks for posting the article

Sounds like the timing the conductor gave was right. Though it sounds more like just manual checks by ticket agents for now and electronic gates to come later.

I have to agree that fare evasion is pretty large. At least once a week I see someone get caught by the conductor and the end result is they don't end up paying. For example the "I left my phone in my car" line and "having no cash". One of my co workers jokes about turning off cell service on his phone so the app doesn't connect / shows a error message and blames it on the app. He said it worked for him for a month, but now he is known as to the conductors as "The boy who's phone never works".

Earlier this week the lady across from me bought a Inter Zone 3 pass instead of a zone 3 pass to go from North Station to Salem. Conductor caught on and called her out for paying $2 instead of $7.50. Tried explaining to her that that was to move between 3 inter zones, and not from Boston to Salem. She just kept saying this is a zone 3 pass. This is what the guy at the ticket counter said I needed. After 4 minutes of arguing with her, the conductor was like I know your not understanding this and just gave up trying to collect the fare from her and continued on checking other peoples fares.
  by deathtopumpkins
 
Of course there's a news article the day after I post that I haven't seen anything in the news!

Any chance you can add a fair-use quote for those of us who have run out of free Globe articles?
  by RenegadeMonster
 
Here is what I hope is a fair use quote. Mods, feel free to remove full article if you feel otherwise.

Content Removed.
Last edited by CRail on Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: A full article is not a fair use quote, especially when it is copied from behind a paywal. A link to the full article should also be provided.
  by Rbts Stn
 
Passengers who had been planning to buy on-board will be steered to ticket counters or an electronic payment app
I can't speak for Back Bay or North Station, but although I think the South Station ticket agents are very friendly and competent, they will not be able to handle this crush of people.
  by RenegadeMonster
 
Rbts Stn wrote:
Passengers who had been planning to buy on-board will be steered to ticket counters or an electronic payment app
I can't speak for Back Bay or North Station, but although I think the South Station ticket agents are very friendly and competent, they will not be able to handle this crush of people.
Not to mention the people who are running late and just ignore the ticket agents and run right past them to catch the train just in time.


Wonder how this will affect people who board trains early who either know the control cab number from the app, or recognize the conductors or just assume the train on their regular track is theres. Will the ticket agents be at every platform door at all time, or only set up before just before boarding is announced? Will the prevent early boarding? Could people work around them by guessing what train is theres and boarding before the ticket agents are in place?

Also, I wonder if we will be double checked. In the past when they have done random ticket checks at north station we were told to keep our tickets out. They weren't checking if we paid the correct amount or punching those charlicard tickets. They didn't even check if the tickets were expired. They were just checking whether we had a ticket or not. The conductors still had to check fares onboard the train and that our tickets were valid. I wonder if it will be much of the same.
  by ceo
 
The thing is, the Green Line *is* moving to POP, because that's how they're going to be able to build the GLX stations with center platforms and no fare gates.
Last edited by ceo on Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by deathtopumpkins
 
RenegadeMonster wrote: Also, I wonder if we will be double checked. In the past when they have done random ticket checks at north station we were told to keep our tickets out. They weren't checking if we paid the correct amount or punching those charlicard tickets. They didn't even check if the tickets were expired. They were just checking whether we had a ticket or not. The conductors still had to check fares onboard the train and that our tickets were valid. I wonder if it will be much of the same.
The article specifically says that conductors will continue checking tickets aboard trains as usual. So yes, if you board at North Station they'll check your ticket on the platform and then the conductor will check it again on the train.

This is fairly similar to how it's done in some other countries. At many UK stations for example, you need a valid ticket to get through a gate onto the platform, and then the conductor actually checks your ticket on the train.
  by saulblum
 
deathtopumpkins wrote:This is fairly similar to how it's done in some other countries. At many UK stations for example, you need a valid ticket to get through a gate onto the platform, and then the conductor actually checks your ticket on the train.
For intercity trains or the equivalent of commuter rail?

Amtrak staff checks tickets at South Station (I assume more to make sure that clueless T riders don't accidentally try to board) and then the conductor scans your ticket on-board.
  by MBTA3247
 
saulblum wrote: For intercity trains or the equivalent of commuter rail?
Both.
  by Rbts Stn
 
deathtopumpkins wrote:
RenegadeMonster wrote: Also, I wonder if we will be double checked. In the past when they have done random ticket checks at north station we were told to keep our tickets out. They weren't checking if we paid the correct amount or punching those charlicard tickets. They didn't even check if the tickets were expired. They were just checking whether we had a ticket or not. The conductors still had to check fares onboard the train and that our tickets were valid. I wonder if it will be much of the same.
The article specifically says that conductors will continue checking tickets aboard trains as usual. So yes, if you board at North Station they'll check your ticket on the platform and then the conductor will check it again on the train.

This is fairly similar to how it's done in some other countries. At many UK stations for example, you need a valid ticket to get through a gate onto the platform, and then the conductor actually checks your ticket on the train.
Exactly. There's no way the station agents know how far you're going, you can tell them every day you're just going to Yawkey Station but the conductors will know if you stay on until Framingham.

How long will it take folks who usually buy their tickets thru their phones onboard when they see the conductor to figure out that they just need to have 1 paper ticket to show the ground agents every day (and rotate that ticket every 90 days) and can still buy their ticket thru the app when they see the conductor?
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