Automated Fare Collection, Phase II (CharlieCards on MBCR)

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Automated Fare Collection, Phase II (CharlieCards on MBCR)

Postby BostonUrbEx » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:35 am

I was going through this document: http://www.ctps.org/bostonmpo/3_program ... B_9.11.pdf

When I found this line: "Automated Fair Collection, Phase II (CharlieCards on commuter rail)" listed for $10million under the "North Corridor" section, which I suspect to mean the Reading Branch was planned to be a testing bed for Charlie on the CR. Though it could include the entire Haverhill Line, the entire Lowell Line, or both. It's a bit ambiguous, but it must be one of or all of those things.

Does anyone know more about this? I had presumed it would be rolled out all at once, across the entire system. But alas, I suppose it does not matter much at this point, as the idea seems to be killed off or kicked very far down the road. Note that this document is from 2007.
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Re: Automated Fair Collection, Phase II (CharlieCards on MBC

Postby djlong » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:06 pm

I was under the impression that the ticket-on-your-smartphone gimmick was replacing the Charlie-Card-For-Commuter-Rail project that was supposed to be "testing" several years ago.
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Re: Automated Fair Collection, Phase II (CharlieCards on MBC

Postby sery2831 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:28 pm

Charlie on the CR is dead and is not going to happen. End of subject...
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Re: Automated Fair Collection, Phase II (CharlieCards on MBC

Postby BostonUrbEx » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:17 pm

Sery, I'm referring to a past line item. Not trying to debate whether it should happen or not.

I'm just curious on what this particular item stood for and why it is listed as a "north corridor" project only, and not for the entire north side nor system wide. This is why I suspect they were going to test with the Reading Branch as they may have seen value in adding fare gates to the Reading Branch platforms somehow in order to test their plans. I don't ever recall such ideas being tossed around, but that's what I am perceiving from this line item. This branch would be best suited for it, though, being that it would speed up boarding on this section of frequent stopping and would act 'in lieu of' the dead Orange Line to Reading plans.
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Re: Automated Fair Collection, Phase II (CharlieCards on MBC

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:03 am

BostonUrbEx wrote:Sery, I'm referring to a past line item. Not trying to debate whether it should happen or not.


Well, yes, it absolutely should happen and is absolutely discussion fodder. Both the why's of why Charlie needs to be expanded to CR, and the why the T suddenly got so hot to bury its own much-overhyped and over-flogged plans with this "no comment / end-of-story" attitude. Yes, there may be technical or other hurdles that have to push implementation way out. But their public passive-aggression on the never-evers is 1) curious, and 2) fodder for the greater discussion of whether they need a swifter outside kick to change institutional habits like this yet-another manifestation of cut-and-run messaging.
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Re: Automated Fare Collection, Phase II (CharlieCards on MBC

Postby jonnhrr » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:27 pm

It must be hard for someone new to transit to find out that they can take buses, subways, trolleys, etc using a CharlieCard but if they decide to take a train as part of their commute it's suddenly back to the 19th century, stand at a window and buy a paper ticket, get it punched by the conductor, etc. At some point this will have to be addressed sooner or later.

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Re: Automated Fare Collection, Phase II (CharlieCards on MBC

Postby ExCon90 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:02 pm

Be careful what you wish for. SEPTA's in that position right now, and plans call for putting turnstiles in 30th St. Station, as well as Suburban and Market East. Expectations are that it's really going to slow down passenger flow -- as well as possibly interfering with Amtrak passengers going to and from the parking garage.
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Re: Automated Fare Collection, Phase II (CharlieCards on MBC

Postby jamesinclair » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:22 am

ExCon90 wrote:Be careful what you wish for. SEPTA's in that position right now, and plans call for putting turnstiles in 30th St. Station, as well as Suburban and Market East. Expectations are that it's really going to slow down passenger flow -- as well as possibly interfering with Amtrak passengers going to and from the parking garage.


They have gates at busy London train stations, its not an issue.

But you know whats 100 times better than turnstiles and gates?

A virtual gate. A simple "tap here"

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Re: Automated Fare Collection, Phase II (CharlieCards on MBC

Postby ExCon90 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:00 pm

That's all very well when there's plenty of floor space on both sides of the gates; the preliminary plans SEPTA has publicized has barriers practically at the head or foot of a stairway. The Amtrak-to-garage situation (including access to the office building over the garage) at 30th St. would seem to require the gates to be immediately at the foot of the stairway and escalator to each platform above. How would it work at South Station and Back Bay (and 128 and Providence?) with Amtrak using the same platforms? The hard part is always figuring out a system which protects revenue without impeding passenger flow.
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Re: Automated Fare Collection, Phase II (CharlieCards on MBC

Postby MBTA3247 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:42 pm

ExCon90 wrote:The hard part is always figuring out a system which protects revenue without impeding passenger flow.

Copy whatever Japan Railways Group does. Many (all?) of their stations use faregates with no apparent problems, including the busiest station in the world.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby jamesinclair » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:41 pm

sery2831 wrote:
jamesinclair wrote:
False. You dont need a fare machine at every stop, because the card lets you go negative, meaning you can load cash in Boston (or one of many retail partners). The MBTA bus system is quite large, and there are no fare machines anywhere near the outer branches of it.


Not sure where you get it will allow you to go a negative balance, but that is not true.

And last I checked you can add value to the card on every bus and trolley.

If you want to continue this discussion, reply here: viewtopic.php?f=65&t=108243


Just to clarify, the Caltrain system lets you go negative, the MBTA system could as well (just like DC does).
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Re: Automated Fare Collection, Phase II (CharlieCards on MBC

Postby sery2831 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:55 pm

jamesinclair wrote:
sery2831 wrote:
jamesinclair wrote:
False. You dont need a fare machine at every stop, because the card lets you go negative, meaning you can load cash in Boston (or one of many retail partners). The MBTA bus system is quite large, and there are no fare machines anywhere near the outer branches of it.


Not sure where you get it will allow you to go a negative balance, but that is not true.

And last I checked you can add value to the card on every bus and trolley.

If you want to continue this discussion, reply here: viewtopic.php?f=65&t=108243


Just to clarify, the Caltrain system lets you go negative, the MBTA system could as well (just like DC does).


On the systems that allow you to go negative. Do you have to the card registered(or pay for a card), or can you just let the card go in the trash and get a new one and not repay the negative balance? I know in Washington DC the cards are not free for example. Boston is always going to have free cards.
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Re: Automated Fare Collection, Phase II (CharlieCards on MBC

Postby octr202 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:13 am

There is no US commuter rail system with a traditional fare collection system using smart cards. Some west coast systems (Caltrain and Sounder, not sure if others do yet) accept their regional cards, but even if they don't have vending machines at every stop, they do have to have validators for tag on/tag off at every stop, thus certainly requiring much of the infrastructure to put in TVMs anyway. They also have (in addition to far fewer stations to worry about) a completely different fare system, since it's proof-of-payment with roving inspectors and random checks. There's merits and disadvantages to both systems, but for now I think it's pretty unlikely for the MBTA or other northeastern "legacy" commuter railroads to shift away from conductor-based fare collection/inspection. The cultural/organizational change on large systems like these might be almost as difficult as installing TVMs at every stop on these far flung systems.
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Re: Automated Fare Collection, Phase II (CharlieCards on MBC

Postby Commuting Boston Student » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:17 am

jamesinclair wrote:
ExCon90 wrote:Be careful what you wish for. SEPTA's in that position right now, and plans call for putting turnstiles in 30th St. Station, as well as Suburban and Market East. Expectations are that it's really going to slow down passenger flow -- as well as possibly interfering with Amtrak passengers going to and from the parking garage.


They have gates at busy London train stations, its not an issue.

But you know whats 100 times better than turnstiles and gates?

A virtual gate. A simple "tap here"

Image

What happens if I walk right through without tapping? That's a serious question - it doesn't seem like there's any deterrent to just going "oops! Must've forgot to tap" as you evade the fare...

jamesinclair wrote:Just to clarify, the Caltrain system lets you go negative, the MBTA system could as well (just like DC does).

It doesn't seem to me like that's an effective deterrent any time the cost of the card is less than the maximum possible amount you "go negative."

What incentive do I have, having just racked up a $14 commuter rail fare, to pay that balance instead of tossing the card and getting a new one for $2 - or even as much as $10?
Last edited by Commuting Boston Student on Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Automated Fare Collection, Phase II (CharlieCards on MBC

Postby SM89 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:19 am

I didn't ride the subway when I was in Athens a few years back, but on the Tram, it was POP. I believe those gates are just validators for your POP tickets that are conveniently placed.
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