Wednesday, December 27, 2006

January Monthly Passes are CharlieTickets unless

The MBTA Sales Locations at Downtown Crossing, Government Center, Harvard, and North and South Station are now selling the January monthly passes and they continue to be CharlieTickets. The only difference from before is the new Link pass which is marked as such. One exception to this at the Harvard location ( and I assume systemwide) Seniors and Disabled patrons must use the smartcards they have been given and buy their pass at a vending machine and these are the patrons that will have the hardest time with the new technology

If you want to use your new CharlieCard as the monthly pass you have to buy it at a vending machine not at a sales location. No word yet if passes being issued by an employer will be on a CharlieCard or will also be a CharlieTicket.

Also unclear as of yet is what will the new retail locations offer as a monthly pass, the CharlieCard or CharlieTicket. Please let us know your experiences.

I can pretty well predict that people given the choice of using a vending machine or dealing with a human clerk will continue to deal with the clerk. plus the CharlieTicket is marked January 07 so that will keep the Show-n-Go users on the Green Line happy. But it will also mean slower boarding times as it takes a few seconds for the gates and fareboxes to read a CharlieTicket and spit it back. Now you have to wonder why the T spent the entire month of December handing out CharlieCards if they were keeping the monthly on a CharlieTicket. Monthly riders are simply going to discard the new smartcard they were given and then when the T does decide to insist the monthly pass is on the CharlieCard only they are going to have to pass out cards all over again. One good thing is at least for now the CharlieCard is free in Boston. In Washington and Chicago you pay the transit company $5 for the card. Don't be shocked if that soon happens in Boston as well.

So for now it seems the only people who will really need a CharlieCard are riders who don't buy a pass and will be the most likely patrons who don't have a smartcard and will pay the surcharge.

befuddled rider trying to figure out the new T vending machine


Anonymous said...

My January 2007 pass from my employer is on a CharlieCard.

Anonymous said...

My employer-provided January Inner Express pass is on a CharlieCard. My dad's employer-provided Inner Express is on a CharlieTicket however. The new processing system for businesses requires that a company go online and activate each and every CharlieCard they've purchased - simple for small companies, bad for big ones like Partners with tens of thousands of passes.

Fenway said...

This could get messy. This blogger reports no state employee has gotten the January pass yet

And the T draws me back...

Anonymous said...

I'm put my monthly pass on the CharlieCard. So far, so good... But, I don't commute to work on the Green Line, so the Show-n-Go problem doesn't apply to me.