Tokens

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Tokens

Postby WonderlandMan » Tue Jan 31, 2006 7:25 am

Since Tokens will soon become obsolete with the new Automatic Fare Collection system (charlie), do you think it would be a smart idea to buy a roll of tokens while I can.. As a collectors item?

Maybe they could be worth money some day down the line?


Just a thought
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Postby savebowdoin » Tue Jan 31, 2006 2:31 pm

If you can buy a sealed roll of tokens, it might be worth it, but loose, single tokens will be worth little more than their face value for quite a while.

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Re: Tokens

Postby Ron Newman » Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:10 am

Today's Globe has an article about the history of tokens, which the MBTA will soon stop accepting entirely:

Clock Ticking Down on the T token

The article says that Charlie machines at Downtown Crossing, Government Center, Harvard, Quincy Center, Riverside, and Ruggles will still accept tokens (at $1.25 each) through July 20. Other Charlie machines will reject them. Until that date, you can also bring tokens to the Downtown Crossing pass sales office or to "T headquarters, 10 Park Plaza, Suite 4730".

But I actually don't want to give any of my tokens back to the T anymore, because: "After July 20, they will go to the blast furnace. The T will seek bids from scrap-metal buyers interested in melting them down, saving a few for jewelry makers, said Jonathan R. Davis, the T’s acting general manager."

The article has an accompanying photo of tokens through the years. Image

They really should have shown the other side of the 1992 token, which was minted to commemmorate Sail Boston:
Image

All the tokens from 1951 forward were the same size, shape, and weight, so they could be used interchangeably everywhere in the T system. There were still plenty of 1951 MTA tokens in circulation when Charlie came along to make them nearly obsolete in 2007.
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Re: Tokens

Postby SM89 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:25 am

After they stop accepting them, they should turn around and start selling them as souvenirs for 2 dollars each.
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Re: Tokens

Postby Ron Newman » Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:35 am

I'd much rather see that than have them all melted down.
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Re: Tokens

Postby MACTRAXX » Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:38 pm

RN and Everyone: This is an interesting subject concerning the MTA and MBTA Tokens...

Is there anywhere on line with better pictures and dates concerning MBTA tokens?
They should have showed both sides of the token photos...

I visited Boston around this time in 1979 for the first time...I remember that the RT base fare was 25 cents
and quarters were used in turnstiles...During 1980 or 1981 the fare either rose to 35 or 50 cents at which time
the old MTA tokens were brought back...Can anyone clarify when this was done?

My favorite T tokens are the 1987 Southwest Corridor Orange Line commemoratives...
I never knew that the mintage was only 100,000 but even then I realized that they were special...
I still have a couple in my collection...I recall also that the T station clerks did not like them
because they far too closely resembled nickels in size and metal composition...

The MBTA late 80s tokens use the 1963 Cambridge/Dorchester Red Line car graphic am I right?

Does anyone have mintage figures on the later special tokens like the Sail Boston type?

It is also interesting that the MBTA tokens are still useable in TVMs and that credit for
unused tokens is still available...Hopefully some of the rare tokens get saved instead of
melted down for their scrap metal value...

I thank all in advance for any replies and wish all a happy 4th of July!

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Re: Tokens

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:33 pm

This leaves SEPTA and TTC as the last major North American agencies still using tokens. But probably not for long.
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.
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Re: Tokens

Postby theseaandalifesaver » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:41 pm

Besides ebay, where could I obtain an MBTA token?
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Re: Tokens

Postby MBTA3247 » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:03 am

Hunt around at train shows.
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Re: Tokens

Postby jr145 » Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:07 am

theseaandalifesaver wrote:Besides ebay, where could I obtain an MBTA token?




Contact the ward maps/mbta gifts store. I believe they have a bunch.

www.mbtagifts.com
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Re: Tokens

Postby 3rdrail » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:24 pm

theseaandalifesaver wrote:Besides ebay, where could I obtain an MBTA token?

I agree with 3247 in that the train shows, probably particularly the odd-ball smaller shows, are likely to have a token pop up at some point. And as you've mentioned, this is an area where Ebay can shine. Put "Boston token" in it's search feature which will notify you if one pops up within a year. (Then you can re-actify.) Another place to check, especially if you're in town, would be a dealer in coins such as the businesses on Bromfield Street. I don't see a single token or even a rolled bunch accruing into a small fortune in value, so if that's your wish you might seek out something else instead. However, as a collectible, a set would be nice to have. If I were going to start collecting them, I'd try to pick up as many of Boston's as I could, probably two of each if possible, to show the reverse and obverse. As it is, I have two Johnson fare boxes from Boston that both take tokens and I have a few tokens that I throw in those to clang the bell and register five cents on the register. One of the boxes is labelled "fare 5 cents". I wonder if the fare will ever go back to 5 cents ?
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Re: Tokens

Postby diburning » Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:48 pm

Seashore Trolley Museum's gift shop has some.

I have one that from the MTA era that I'll let go for face value ($1.25).
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Re: Tokens

Postby WickedPissah » Sat Jul 07, 2012 2:56 pm

WardMaps will be acquiring a large amount of tokens from the T before they get scrapped. Hopefully we'll find some of the special commemorative tokens in the lot. They will all be listed for sale in the store and on the MBTAgifts website in the near future.

Other vendors, like Tokens & Icons, also have the oppurtunity to purchase tokens to continue offering their line of T token jewerly.
Brian Beaucher. Co-Owner WardMaps LLC, MBTAgifts and Boston Coasters
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Re: Tokens

Postby Yellowspoon » Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:24 pm

Brad Clarke, the president of the Boston Street Railway Association, was on NPR on Friday, the 20th. He was talking about tokens and the fact that they were coming to an end.

What's the point of refusing to accept them any more? I can understand that they refuse to sell them, but is there a point to refusing them for value? If the vending machines are already set up to accept tokens, what's the harm in continuing to accept them? The 1952 quarter in my bureau is still legal tender for 25 cents.

As a side note, why eliminate them at all? Why don't the fare gates accept tokens AND/OR Charlie Cards? Eight years ago (?), I had a token and attempted to enter the Aquarium station. There was a 10 minute wait of confusion at the vending machines to turn my one token into a Charlie Ticket.
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Re: Tokens

Postby 3rdrail » Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:13 pm

Because fazing out of either tokens only or dual token/coin machines over time can drastically reduce the cost of system wide machines, many which have converted to electronically imbeded card use. Just like getting that leather interior on your new car, an added feature costs $$$. Simpler also translates into cheaper maintenance, as well as retrieval costs, whereby it's much more cost effective as there are less parts to break down (as well as more mechanical and friction-causing elements) as well as tokens and coin to collect, store, and maintain security over. An electronic counter can send this count to a remote location for the cost of a telephone call.
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