• CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

  • 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 MBTA3247
An alternate verification line wouldn't be needed - there is ticket-type fare media available with RFID built into it. Functionally, it works the same as a CharlieCard.
  by andrewjw
Hmm, yes. Like the Ventra Ticket.
  by Disney Guy
How would they handle malfunctioning tap off machines at a destination station?
  by Rbts Stn
They won't. You'll have to fill out an online form that has no links to it and wait "8-10 weeks" for a reply which won't come.

SImilarly, when your train breaks down and they transfer you to a bus and drop you off in the parking lot after a 4 hour delay the system will have already "decided" that you didn't tap out and charge you the max.
  by RenegadeMonster
You would think the system would be able to handle that and it's been thought through.

I know the system they want to use is used in Europe without issue, but I guarantee they don't have the reliability issues we have with our fleet. That being said. The system has been used in other parts of the world and is reliable. So I would hope it would be a solid implementation.
  by Ryand-Smith
Caltrans uses a unified media card (Clipper) that can be used on bus, subway and heavy rail. IT can hold digital monthly passes for multiple systems, raw cash which is used for tap on and off and it holds transfers. This is LONG solved technology.
Last edited by CRail on Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:16 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Unnecessary quote removed.
  by Teamdriver
Commuter rail trains to accept onboard credit card payments

BOSTON — Keolis Commuter Services, the MBTA’s operating partner, and the MBTA have announced that beginning this fall commuter rail passengers will be able to pay onboard with a credit or debit card.

A first for the network, a new mobile point of sale system has been tested and refined and over the next two months will be expanded to include all conductors.

http://plymouth.wickedlocal.com/news/20 ... d-payments" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Excuse please if this is somehere else !
  by BandA
If the Conductor could use their Bluetooth printer to print all tickets instead of using the paper & hole-punch that would save some clerk from tallying or auditing the paper tickets, right?
  by RenegadeMonster
The MBTA has a proposed for fare hike this year.

More about the proposal here and how to be submit feedback or attend a community meeting: https://mbta.com/fare-proposal-2019" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Here are the proposed new prices: https://mbta.com/fare-proposal-2019/fare-prices" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Bus, Subway and Commuter Rail are impacted. For example, my Zone 3 Commuter Rail pass will go from $244.25 to $261.00.
  by RenegadeMonster
The fare hike has been approved by the MBTA Control Board.

Commuter Rail and Subway will get a 5.8% fare hike, which goes in effect July 1st. Bus service will not change in price.

The public overwhelmingly opposed the fare hike and was very vocal about it.

However, quoting the story NBC 10 just ran, all the MBTA Control Board heard overwhelmingly was that there were service issues. And that the service issues can not be addressed without charging higher rates to get more money to help address the issues.
  by jgeary27
apodino wrote:One thing I was always curious about. Why doesn't the MBTA have self serve ticketing machines at all the commuter stations?
I've run into a situation with this recently, and I wonder if anyone here knows how it is 'supposed' to work. I'm working on a job that requires me to ride from Worcester to Wellesley (Farms) a few days a week. Worcester does have a couple of ticket machines. However, it turns out you can't buy an interzone ticket from a machine. (This seems odd because it says right on the fare website that you can pay your $5 with a CharlieTicket... where am I supposed to get this CharlieTicket from if the machine can't sell it?) Buying it on board is fine if I'm on a train that stops at Wellesley Farms, which I usually am in the morning. However in the afternoon I've been taking a train that ends at Framingham and transferring. On the days that someone has tried to check my ticket (not often), the conductor has seemed stumped by what to do with me.

One day the individual told me to "just buy your ticket on the next train then". Another time the conductor said they couldn't sell me the ticket, because "my train number is programmed into my computer". On one occasion they actually charged me an interzone only as far as Framingham, and I had to buy a second ticket for the train to Worcester... or would have, if anyone on the Worcester train had checked, which they didn't.

So how is this supposed to work? Are transfers supposed to be allowed in a situation like Framingham, or am I supposed to buy two separate interzone tickets when that happens? It seems like it should be allowed -- and encouraged, because I would be likely to buy a roundtrip in the morning, instead of just hoping nobody checks on the way home -- especially now that the ticket has a timestamp and a QR code. If I board a Worcester train at Framingham with a ticket I bought 20 minutes ago in Wellesley, there's no way I can be scamming anything, right?
  by RenegadeMonster
I think the only reliable way to purchase a interzone ticket is through the M ticket app, and hope it doesn't expire before you need to show it on the second train. But that does not work on the trains where they are piloting scanning the barcode on the mTicket App. It will refuse the ticket after the transfer if it gets scanned a second time.

From what I have seen on the north side is they don't seem to know how to handle it either. While I always commute between Boston and Salem, I have seen people transfer trains due to express trains not making local stops after Salem.

I have seen them flat out refuse a ticket that someone had purchased on board because it has already been punched stating they aren't allowed to accept it / conductors aren't supposed to issue tickets that transfer to other trains.

I have also seen the conductors get really confuse and just walk away form the person because they don't know what to do. I have also seen someone purchase a ticket and said they were transferring and got two tickets from the conductor.

It's not 100% clear on the MBTA's Website, but unless you have a monthly pass I believe transfer is not allowed. You have to purchase a ticket on each train.
  by daybeers
So if you're continuing on a line and need to transfer in order to go further down the line or to a stop the express trains don't stop at, can't you just buy a ticket from, say, Wellesley Farms to Worcester? Or do you need to buy two tickets? Is that the question being asked? Sorry, I'm a little confused. :-)
  by BandA
This is why they need a modern ticket system, and should pilot the Charliecard 2 on the CR I think.
So, what if he buys a round-trip ticket assuming he is taking the local, and on the way back he ends up taking the express & has to transfer to the loco-local at Framingfish? There's a million scenarios
  by jgeary27
I've been back working on the job in Auburndale the last couple of weeks, so I have some more data on what happens when I have to change at Framingham.

What usually happens: nobody checks tickets on one or both trains, so instead of paying $5.50 for "interzone 7" I pay $4.00 for "interzone 4" or nothing at all.

What I gather is officially supposed to happen: I buy an "interzone 4" ticket on each train, paying $8.00 for a ride that is 'supposed' to cost $5.50. So, I effectively pay a $2.50 surcharge for the privilege of cooling my heels in Framingham for 15 minutes.

What would make more sense: I buy an "interzone 7" ticket on the first train, even though it doesn't serve my destination. The conductor on the second train scans the QR code, and the system accepts it because it was only sold 20-30 minutes previously.

I think this is one of those scenarios where the no-transfer policy was made in the era of cardboard tickets and hole punches. Also, back then there weren't many places in the system where you would ever need to transfer in the first place. It doesn't seem like it would be hard for a ticket barcode to be valid in the direction of travel for, say, 60 minutes... long enough to scan when boarding and then again after transferring. The system knows when the ticket was bought/activated and how many minutes ago, so if it "can't" do this today it's a simple programming fix.

It's something they're going to need to figure out, the growth in express service means there's going to be more and more places where transfers are necessary (for example there's a 4 hour window in the morning and a 3 hour one in the afternoon where *no* Worcester train serves Newton). Now that even the paper tickets have QR codes, this shouldn't be hard.
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