Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby sery2831 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:59 am

Mobile ticketing is now live on the North Side Commuter Rail Lines. Coming soon to the South Side and Commuter Boat Service.

Single ride tickets are now available. Monthly passes will be available for December for Commuter Rail use only and will NOT be accepted on the subway/light rail/bus. These passes will be discounted $10 until full Charlie Card integration is completed.

http://mbta.com/fares_and_passes/mticketing/
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby Commuting Boston Student » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:40 am

sery2831 wrote:Mobile ticketing is now live on the North Side Commuter Rail Lines. Coming soon to the South Side and Commuter Boat Service.

Single ride tickets are now available. Monthly passes will be available for December for Commuter Rail use only and will NOT be accepted on the subway/light rail/bus. These passes will be discounted $10 until full Charlie Card integration is completed.

http://mbta.com/fares_and_passes/mticketing/


I'm sorry, but this is completely unacceptable. Why even bother "releasing" mobile ticketing in this state? CharlieCard integration was the main draw of the mobile ticketing app - which, let me remind you, CharlieCards on the Commuter Rail was one of the (many) promises the MBTA made and later broke.

The $10 discount is pathetic when you realize that anyone who uses their monthly pass to transfer to local bus and subway services is now forced to pay twice for that privilege - that's $48 if you're only using local buses, or $70 if you're using local buses and subways.

Better, then, to save yourself a nice chunk of change and not bother switching at all. Which, of course, means low utilization will be cited as a reason why mobile ticketing is deemed a failure and axed in short order.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby saulblum » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:33 am

For commuter rail pass holders, is the idea that you'd be able to finally able to use a CharlieCard instead of a Ticket on the bus and subway, and instead use the mobile ticketing app on the commuter rail?
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby BlueFreak » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:36 am

Commuting Boston Student wrote:The $10 discount is pathetic when you realize that anyone who uses their monthly pass to transfer to local bus and subway services is now forced to pay twice for that privilege - that's $48 if you're only using local buses, or $70 if you're using local buses and subways.


While I agree that the lack of integration is not ideal (as someone who rides both the commuter rail and red line between Mansfield and Kendall Square every weekday), the $10 discount is clearly not designed to compensate people for buying a second pass. We're just expected to wait it out a few more months. However, as long as the full implementation can be completed in the next couple of months, I don't think that this initial baby step dooms this initiative.

If anything, I expect that the $10 discount will actually speed up the initial uptake of this program, because I know that there are a lot of commuters on my train who never ride the subway/bus, since they work within walking distance of Back Bay or South Station. For these folks, they would be thrilled to get a discount to give up riding privileges they never use.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby Diverging Route » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:28 pm

Also for now it is not compatible with the corporate subsidy program.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby sery2831 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:46 pm

saulblum wrote:For commuter rail pass holders, is the idea that you'd be able to finally able to use a CharlieCard instead of a Ticket on the bus and subway, and instead use the mobile ticketing app on the commuter rail?


Yes
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby Arlington » Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:18 pm

Is Blackberry supported? I noted that it is pictured in the video, but does not have a button on the right (as Apple and Android do)
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby sery2831 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:39 pm

They are saying right now Blackberry is coming soon.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby jamesinclair » Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:37 pm

Its like theyre trying to reinvent the wheel using only goats. This whole thing makes no sense to me.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby rethcir » Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:49 pm

You guys sound like a bunch of NIMBY's on this. Give it a chance to succeed.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby Diverging Route » Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:58 pm

jamesinclair wrote:Its like theyre trying to reinvent the wheel using only goats. This whole thing makes no sense to me.


The stated rationale is that project was done at no (or little) cost to the MBTA. The vendor gets a percentage of the fares sold on the mobile app to manage everything. The MBTA says that to implement Charlie on the CR would have cost millions of dollars, money now that will not need to be spent.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby jamesinclair » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:18 pm

Diverging Route wrote:
jamesinclair wrote:Its like theyre trying to reinvent the wheel using only goats. This whole thing makes no sense to me.


The stated rationale is that project was done at no (or little) cost to the MBTA. The vendor gets a percentage of the fares sold on the mobile app to manage everything. The MBTA says that to implement Charlie on the CR would have cost millions of dollars, money now that will not need to be spent.


So what youre saying is that the more successful this is, the less money the MBTA gets from fares?

Fantastic.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby Arlington » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:47 pm

jamesinclair wrote:So what youre saying is that the more successful this is, the less money the MBTA gets from fares?
Fantastic.

Well, it isn't like counting paper/cash fares or maintaining TVMs comes at no cost. All revenue collection-processing-accounting systems have ongoing costs.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby sery2831 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:32 am

It's a win win for the T. They have no liability for Credit Card transactions, and they do not have to pay the processing fee. The vendor that provides the APP has built that into the operation. So the T just sits back and collects a check. The more people that use this APP will mean greater chance of collecting all the fares. I had two people pay with it today, and it's great. You can see it from a distance, and it's faster than taking the ticket and punching it.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby Commuting Boston Student » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:22 am

Diverging Route wrote:
jamesinclair wrote:Its like theyre trying to reinvent the wheel using only goats. This whole thing makes no sense to me.


The stated rationale is that project was done at no (or little) cost to the MBTA. The vendor gets a percentage of the fares sold on the mobile app to manage everything. The MBTA says that to implement Charlie on the CR would have cost millions of dollars, money now that will not need to be spent.


So when the MBTA says CharlieCard integration is coming for this app, are you telling me they are lying?

Or is the impetus now on the app designer to work that out whenever it suits them to do so?

rethcir wrote:You guys sound like a bunch of NIMBY's on this. Give it a chance to succeed.


No, I don't believe I owe this project that chance if, as Mr. Diverging Route has implied, the MBTA intends to break their promise for CharlieCards on the Commuter Rail twice over. I don't believe the MBTA should be given a free pass from criticism for releasing an incomplete product in a fundamentally flawed state. I believe that failure to provision for monthly pass cross-use on buses and subways meets the definition of 'fundamentally flawed,' and I believe that the project will not survive for long without that support. Certainly, once the novelty of 'a new thing' wears off, many more people other than myself are going to start complaining.

As it stands, I do fully expect this app to be deemed a complete failure and disposed of by the end of July 2013. Rather than sit idly by and 'give it a chance to succeed,' I would like to make my concerns known in the loudest possible way so that they can be addressed. I do not complain because I like complaining, and I don't predict failure because I desire for this app to fail - just the opposite! I want this app to succeed, but it can't succeed as it is now.
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