CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby deathtopumpkins » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:25 am

The issue isn't the cards - it's the crummy readers on the T fare machines. I don't think they've EVER once read ANY of my cards correctly on the first swipe. Usually it takes 3-4 attempts (which is annoying, because the machine automatically cancels the transaction after the 2nd or 3rd error). In the past it was always "BANK CARD NOT READABLE", recently I've sometimes gotten "BANK CARD TYPE NOT SUPPORTED" as well.
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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby sery2831 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:51 am

There has always been an issue with debit cards at the machines. Select credit and should work on the first or second try.
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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby deathtopumpkins » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:08 am

Nope, my experience has always been with credit cards. I never use debit.
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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby diburning » Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:31 pm

They probably don't clean the card slots. Hands contain oils which are transferred to cards when held, and is transferred to the card reader when swiped. People who use hand lotion also add to the gunk buildup. It seems insignificant, but after years of use, it will build up to the point where it will not read reliably.

Where I work, they clean the pin pad magstripe readers and chip slots weekly with a cleaning card (a textured credit card sized card soaked in alcohol) and the cleaning card comes out black.
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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby octr202 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:20 am

Add to the above, the fact that so many (i.e., damn near all) of the FVMs are in pretty dirty locations (whether inside stations or close to outside elements) and it's probably a miracle as many work as they do!
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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby BandA » Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:18 pm

The magnetic strip can become demagnetized by exposure to a magnetic field (wonder what a ringing cell phone next to the credit card does), or mechanical damage from carrying the credit card loose in your pocket. I sometimes have trouble with my ATM card at the bank teller, which is probably the oldest card that I carry.
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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby diburning » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:23 pm

The closest magnetic thing that may interfere with the card is... well, other cards! I've noticed that if I had a Link Pass on a ticket, that it wouldn't read right away if I kept it in my wallet (the whole in and out deal at the farebox/gate), but wouldn't have this issue if I kept it in a different pocket. Hotel keys have the same issue, they can get demagnetized by credit cards.

Credit cards are actually quite resilient to such interference though, and most of the time, if my cards stop working, it's because of physical wear on the magstripe.
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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby diburning » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:26 pm

There will be a $20 day pass for the Worcester Line for Marathon Monday. Available only at North, South, Back Bay right now, and on-board as well on Monday.
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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby Disney Guy » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:27 am

You board a streetcar (LRV) and the fare box screen says "Insert 0.75" since the previous person boarding was short and the operator forgot to clear the fare box. What do you do when paying cash?

A. Insert 0.75 as directed and the fare box completes the partial fare, beeps approval, and you walk on in.
B. Insert the correct fare of 2.75 and the fare box completes the partial fare and uses the remaining $2.00 to register a new fare that is now short by the same amount of 0.75, and the fare box beeps disapproval and you might have to argue with the operator.
C. The fare box can tell that the new fare was inserted at a certain speed that means it is a fare unto itself and the fare box finalizes the previous partial fare and registers a new fare using all that you put in.

Extrapolating the situation to the use of a Charlie Card (or Charlie Ticket) with stored value, what happens?

D. The fare box deducts 0.75 from the Charlie Card and completes the partial fare.
E. The fare box treats your Charlie Card as a separately paid fare, finalizes the partial fare showing, and deducts the correct $2.75 to register a new fare for you.
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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby diburning » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:47 pm

The operator usually pays attention to cash fares, and are quick to press the "Short" button to ensure that the next person is paying a full fare.
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LinkPass Commuter Rail Discount

Postby jackintosh11 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:31 pm

If I get a 7 day LinkPass, can I buy interzone tickets for traveling on commuter rail, or do I need to pay the full fare?
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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby Trinnau » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:19 am

According to fare section of mbta.com a 7-day link pass is only valid for travel within zone 1A if purchased on a Ticket (not a card).

mbta.com wrote:Valid for unlimited travel on Subway, Local Bus, plus Inner-Harbor Ferry, and Commuter Rail Zone 1A if purchased on a CharlieTicket.


So the Link Pass doesn't get you out of Zone 1A. Since all the T's commuter rail fares are based on travel to/from Zone 1A, you would have to pay full fare.
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Re: LinkPass Commuter Rail Discount

Postby sery2831 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:06 am

jackintosh11 wrote:If I get a 7 day LinkPass, can I buy interzone tickets for traveling on commuter rail, or do I need to pay the full fare?


Full fare, Boston is 1A technically.
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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby Arlington » Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:15 pm

I would have said that a link passholder would only have to show the pass and then pay (for example) the 3-zone inter Zone Fare to get to Zone 3 (whic saves vs a Zone 3 fare)
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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby sery2831 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:11 am

No. The interzone fare does work in Zone 1A. You need to pay the full Zone 3 fare.
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