CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby BandA » Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:22 pm

when you tap in at a CR station, will you get a reciept that you put in front of you as POP?
Last edited by BandA on Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby dbperry » Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:23 pm

BandA wrote:Mass tap-out in the morning at South Station, North Station, Back Bay and perhaps Yawkey and Boston Landing are going to be horrendous.


Since those would all (at least South Station, North Station, and Back Bay) be terminal destinations with the 'highest' fare possible, you could design a system where you only need to tap on and NOT tap off on the inbound trip. The system could be designed to default to the highest fare for the zone where you tapped in (which you were going to pay anyway) in the case of no tap-out. Those passengers transferring to subway or other modes also wouldn't need to tap off of the commuter rail - the system could be designed to treat the tap on for the subway as also the tap off of the commuter rail.

And if you have a monthly pass on your tap card, then theoretically you wouldn't have to tap at all - for example tap once at the beginning of the month to 'activate' the pass and then ride the entire month on the commuter rail without needing to tap-on or tap-off. That negates passenger counts and data collection, so they might not want to implement it that way, but it could work.

My point is there are lots of options to program the system to overcome most challenges we can come up with. And I don't think eliminating cash is a problem. If you can get a tap card at every corner store and put cash on your tap card at those locations, then problem solved. Tack the tap card system onto the lottery terminal infrastructure - you'd have millions of locations in an instant (I'm only half joking).

The biggest challenge will be shifting people's habits and also getting people to accept that fare inspectors will patrol the commuter rail to check for fare evaders.

The 'myki' fare card system in Melbourne Australia is a perfect example of a tap-on, tap-off fare payment system integrated across rail, subway, and streetcars.
https://ptv.vic.gov.au/tickets/
And yes, I'm aware that it had a rough roll-out and startup.

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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby dbperry » Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:26 pm

BandA wrote:when you tap in at a CR station, do you get a reciept that you put in front of you as POP?


No. Tap in and you're 'in the system.' A fare inspector (or conductor) comes by with his handheld device and reads your tap card. They can tell if you tapped in. If you didn't, you're a fare evader - either charged a fine or the highest zone fare or highest zone fare plus surcharge.

That's the most common implementation, I think, but there could be others. But printing a ticket for every tap wouldn't be efficient.
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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby deathtopumpkins » Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:38 pm

Diverging Route wrote:The incentive to tap-out is that if you don't, you're charged the max zone fare (i.e. Zone 10) rather than the zone you boarded. This system works very well in Europe.


Apparently the incentive to tap out will actually be some sort of perk, e.g. if you tap out 100% of the time in a month, next month's pass is discounted 10%.
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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby ohalloranchris » Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:48 am

All very interesting info, the collective knowledge on this board is always impressive!

It sounds as if there are precedents for this in other parts of the world, but this would be the first Commuter Rail application in the US among the major CR operators, correct?
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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby nomis » Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:04 am

Septa's NPT Program known as KEY would be the first coming in the US, IIRC.

here's a link to their thread
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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby leviramsey » Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:55 am

deathtopumpkins wrote:
BandA wrote:]Mass tap-out in the morning at South Station, North Station, Back Bay and perhaps Yawkey and Boston Landing are going to be horrendous.


I don't think it'll be that bad. It all depends on how they implement the readers at major stations. If they do end up gating the platforms, it might slow things down a little bit but I don't think it will be too bad, considering the limited doors and platform widths already regulate the rate of people getting off trains. The main time I foresee it being a problem is when you have an inbound unloading and an outbound loading at the same time on adjacent tracks. It's already hard enough to swim upstream down the platform.


For most riders it may not even be necessary to tap out downtown. Assuming that a failure to tap out will result in the highest fare chargeable based on your tap-in, the only station outside of 1A where the fare to the outer terminal is the maximum fare as opposed to the fare to 1A is Hyde Park, so only Hyde Park inbound and intra-1A riders would definitely need to tap out.
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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby dm1120 » Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:42 am

jamesinclair wrote:
As for the globe article. Entirely phasing out cash is a very bad idea. Boston is a huge tourist destination. Not everyone can be expected to have the "right" technology.

“We have to be able to make sure that people are going to be able to fill [cards] with cash, we just don’t want them to do it on the bus,” Tibbits-Nutt said while speaking with reporters after the meeting.


Spoken as someone who has never ridden the bus. There are thousands of bus stops. You cant tell customers theyre out of luck because you dont want to accept dollar bills on board
NYC has never accepted bills of any denomination on board buses. I think the MBTA won't have a problem phasing out cash as long as there are enough stores that will reload Charlie cards.
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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby Rbts Stn » Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:36 pm

I have an idea for a sponsor!

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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby Disney Guy » Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:15 pm

I am already doubting the reliability of a tap out system. Today there are occasional complaints about the fare gate putting up an error message and the customer retrying it or using a different fare gate finding out he was charged twice. So a similar problem might be still getting charged a 10 zone fare for a 2 zone ride. Or somehow getting a new tap in immediately after an actually successful tap out.

As opposed to quietly letting a few cash customer ride for free, why not go back to the dollar bill slot. The T has had an exact change policy almost as far back as I can remember (started when the T was born out of the old MTA?) so riders are forewarned that they may have to put more than the correct fare (in the slot) if they don't have the correct fare. The complexity of today's fareboxes is not the collecting of the money but rather the processing of the money.
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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby jamesinclair » Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:05 pm

dm1120 wrote:NYC has never accepted bills of any denomination on board buses. I think the MBTA won't have a problem phasing out cash as long as there are enough stores that will reload Charlie cards.


They accept cash via coins. Probably a byproduct of installing the system when the fare was probably 50 cents.

And NYC isnt exactly somewhere you want to be looking at for inspiration. Once SEPTA activates key this year, they will be the only large system in the country not using a tap-based card payment system.



....ok, them and NJTransit, but NJ Transit is 99% buses, and they do take dollar (and $5) bills on board. And NJ Transit doesnt use low floor buses so you know theyve got serious management issues,
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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby MBTA3247 » Sat May 14, 2016 1:41 pm

"The destination of this train is [BEEP BEEP]" -announcement on an Ashmont train.
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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby saulblum » Sat May 14, 2016 7:46 pm

MBTA3247 wrote:The default options for adding value to CharlieCards at FVMs have been changed to multiples of a one-ride fare. And they finally allow 1- and 7-day passes on CharlieCards.


Is the software different on the machines at Government Center and Assembly?
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Free Charlie Cards for MIT Employees

Postby Diverging Route » Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:32 am

The story from the Boston Globe (second half of the article).

Not mentioned in the article is a new benefit, providing a 50% rebate (up to $100/month) for those who park at MBTA lots. More here.
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Re: CharlieCard / Ticket discussion

Postby diburning » Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:43 pm

MBTA3247 wrote:The default options for adding value to CharlieCards at FVMs have been changed to multiples of a one-ride fare. And they finally allow 1- and 7-day passes on CharlieCards.


This is also the case on the Retail Sales Terminals for sales agents. The default options are now $2.10, $4.20, and $21.00. Adds a bit of screen prodding to add $20 which seems to be a popular amount.
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