According to the MBTA (and the Globe on January 28), “T officials are encouraging folks to put their February passes on their CharlieCard now to avoid lines. You can do this for any month, beginning on the 15th of the preceding month. There's no need to wait until this Wednesday, the 31st.” It’s true that you can add the February pass . . . but what they forgot to mention is that doing so erases the January pass from your CharlieCard. This evening, on my way home from work, I stopped at Park Street to add a February pass to my card (which had a January pass already on it, and which I had been using without problems for the whole month of January). After adding the February pass, I went to enter the gate . . . and got a “Not enough value” message. I tried another gate – same story. I went back to the vending machine, which confirmed I had a pass good through 2/28/2007 . . . but failed to inform me that, evidently, the pass now would not be good until 2/1/2007. As a result, I had “add value” to the pass so I could get home (and for my two trips tomorrow). Steve from Boston (see Globe Starts & Stops dated January 28, 2007) was apparently correct in stating that “it is not possible to have both January and February on the card's chip at once," and it is the MBTA and the Globe who are handing out the “Bad Information.”
I will refrain from speculating how much money the T will be making off of this error, or the lines which will be at all the T Fare Vending Machines on the morning of the first of each month once this error becomes more widely known. I would have sent a copy of this e-mail to the MBTA, but I can’t find an appropriate e-mail address on their website.
- Jim in Cambridge
P.S. The funny thing was, up until this point, I was personally quite happy with the CharlieCard system. Well, I guess you live and learn.
This is the first report of this I have heard so I am thinking this is an isolated case. The CharlieCard is designed with three stored value slots, 2 which are used for monthly passes and the third is for any stored value.
The question to throw out there is has anybody else experienced this?
On a related note universalhub.com posted a blog entry from Moxie who had her own horror show on Tuesday when she tried to buy her February pass with her WageWorks card.