Free ride day, pass discounts coming on the T

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Free ride day, pass discounts coming on the T

Postby blackcap » Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:33 pm

The MBTA Board of directors has voted to make riding the MBTA free on April 24, and to offer a 15% discount on monthly passes for May:

http://www.myfoxboston.com/story/28395768/mbta-financial-chief-recommends-free-day-for-cash-riders
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Re: Free ride day, pass discounts coming on the T

Postby BandA » Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:43 pm

Do people realize that the "T" is insolvent, and any freebies are to be paid for by the state, ultimately by taxpayers who don't take the "T".

(Fares can't go up more than 5% every two years, town assessments can't go up more than 2.5% per year, sales tax isn't gonna go up...)
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Re: Free ride day, pass discounts coming on the T

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:10 pm

It's still good PR, especially in the wake of winter shutdowns/service impacts. How about having a corporate sponsor fill the tab? Some agencies offer free ride/toll free specials, often in conjunction with a sports event or major event and these are usually paid for by a sponsor company.
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.
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Re: Free ride day, pass discounts coming on the T

Postby Gerry6309 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:29 am

R36 Combine Coach wrote:It's still good PR, especially in the wake of winter shutdowns/service impacts. How about having a corporate sponsor fill the tab? Some agencies offer free ride/toll free specials, often in conjunction with a sports event or major event and these are usually paid for by a sponsor company.

Good PR is something the MBTA is sorely lacking. Dealing with five major winter storms in four weeks was an impossible hurdle to surmount. No transit operator in their right mind would stock enough spare motors to cover the losses from this type of event. No amount of storm planning could avoid what happened. Yes, the system could have been designed to avoid snow and ice by using embankments, elevateds and tunnels. The initial costs would have been astronomical, and the political hurdles insurmountable.

So - we have what we have, and it works - most of the time. When it doesn't we have to grin and bear it! Yes we can fire a few officials as a way of focusing blame. But when it works the system meets its goals - barely!
The system spent money like water in February and the customers got nothing in return. Frankly, I think Feb Passes should be good for April - NO IFS ANDS OR BUTS!

THEN LICK THOSE WOUNDS and get over it!
Last edited by Gerry6309 on Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The next stop is Washington. Change for Forest Hills Trains on the Winter St. Platform, and Everett Trains on the Summer St. Platform. This is an Ashmont train, change for Braintree at Columbia.
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Re: Free ride day, pass discounts coming on the T

Postby MACTRAXX » Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:45 pm

Gerry:

Good idea here - and this can be a goodwill gesture between the MBTA and Commuter Rail riders...

The easiest way would be the option of turning in a February 2015 monthly pass and getting a month of
your choice - April, May or June 2015 - monthly Commuter Rail pass back in trade...

If the MBTA goes this route it should be announced soon so that commuters know to hold onto their
February 2015 passes and get the credit for them that they are rightfully due for putting up with all of
the weather-related problems experienced by Commuter Rail and thank them for their loyalty...

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EXPRESS TRAIN TO NEW YORK PENN STATION-NO JAMAICA ON THIS TRAIN-PLEASE STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING TRAIN DOORS
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Re: Free ride day, pass discounts coming on the T

Postby Red Wing » Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:36 am

April 24th is also during school vacation week, Which I bet they picked because of lower ridership.
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Re: Free ride day, pass discounts coming on the T

Postby MBTA3247 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 1:29 pm

Weren't the Boston schools considering canceling April break to make up for February's snow days?
"The destination of this train is [BEEP BEEP]" -announcement on an Ashmont train.
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Re: Free ride day, pass discounts coming on the T

Postby WatertownCarBarn » Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:43 pm

Highly unlikely. They've scheduled what they have to and have two days still to use, Good Friday and Bunker Hill.
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Re: Free ride day, pass discounts coming on the T

Postby Arborwayfan » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:00 pm

The cost of the free ride day will probably be smaller than one might think, because (a) passholders won't pay any less than they would otherwise and (b) some of the riders that day will be people who wouldn't have ridden that day if it weren't free. The T's only loss will be from people who normally pay-as-they-go who would have ridden that day anyway. Anyone know what percentage of an average day's trips are on passes?

If a free ride gets someone who never rode before to ride, and then pay to ride again, that helps build future ridership and future fare revenue. Worth it, I think.
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Re: Free ride day, pass discounts coming on the T

Postby BandA » Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:08 pm

Arborwayfan wrote:The cost of the free ride day will probably be smaller than one might think, because (a) passholders won't pay any less than they would otherwise and (b) some of the riders that day will be people who wouldn't have ridden that day if it weren't free. The T's only loss will be from people who normally pay-as-they-go who would have ridden that day anyway. Anyone know what percentage of an average day's trips are on passes?

If a free ride gets someone who never rode before to ride, and then pay to ride again, that helps build future ridership and future fare revenue. Worth it, I think.
You're absolutely right. The thing that's sticking in my craw is how it's being presented as compensation to the existing riders. It does nothing for them or taxpayers. It's really an open house for the "T" and Boston destinations.
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Re: Free ride day, pass discounts coming on the T

Postby Arborwayfan » Sat Mar 21, 2015 5:48 pm

Sounds reasonable, BandA. I didn't realize they were actually marketing it as some kind of compensation. Sorry if I sounded grouchy. Sometimes am. Not about this. :-D
Although I guess the passholders will actually save 15% for the month, more than the regular riders who aren't passholders.
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Re: Free ride day, pass discounts coming on the T

Postby BandA » Sat Mar 21, 2015 6:28 pm

Arborwayfan wrote:...Sorry if I sounded grouchy. Sometimes am. Not about this. :-D
Although I guess the passholders will actually save 15% for the month, more than the regular riders who aren't passholders.
No worries, I didn't notice you getting grouchy. I get grouchy myself...sometimes I post something and --- crickets --- and I wonder if I'm coming across as strident or a know-it-all or something, lol.

Back on topic, I dunno, they had to do something to generate positive press and pacify the masses holding torches and sharpening axes :wink: . Can't tell if "T" is spinning or if the media is. With the GM leaving, it's unclear what the T's priorities will be going forward. So communicating an agenda is one of the goals.
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