2016 Fare Increase discussion

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

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Re: 2016 Fare Increase discussion

Postby BandA » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:29 pm

The purpose of the surcharge is to recover the extra labor processing the ticket. The conductor is supposed to check everybody boarding, unlike Caltrain's apparent spot check. Also, the conductor's time is in short supply because he/she is busy opening & closing traps!

I like the idea of getting an electronic fare card (charlie card or some other smart card). I want fares harmonized w/bus & rabid-transit. I want fares to be mostly distance based; Current system is unfair/uneven.

I like the idea of peak fare surcharge; Metro-North New Haven charges about $5. Another possibility, a peak surcharge for South Station which is over capacity - so it would apply to south station but not north station or back bay since those aren't yet over capacity. Parking fees should be related to actual cost or replacement cost (cost of acquiring land + building a parking garage). Another thing that MNCR does is have contact information for stations about parking, where various parking is operated by different vendors. They also ration monthly parking passes (waiting list) to allow enough room so daily parkers aren't shut out. I have fond memories of going to the science museum on "dime-time", but that's not realistic.

T needs to expand fleet with short trainsets + long trainsets & adequate spares & adequate storage. Short turns to cover inner zones are needed to handle crush loads.
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Re: 2016 Fare Increase discussion

Postby The EGE » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:22 pm

For the next-generation fare system (replacing Charlie sometime between 2020 and 2025) they are planning to have all commuter rail fare payment be off-board. The most likely method will be fare machines at all stations, with tap targets (accepting temporary fare media with chips, permanent cars with chips, and 'tapping' cell phones with bluetooth or similar) at all doors on trains or just on the station platforms. Tap-out would be on the doors or platform validators, and pretty easily to verify.
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Re: 2016 Fare Increase discussion

Postby dbperry » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:11 am

Results of the fare increase public comment period were dumped on Friday.

http://www.mbta.com/uploadedfiles/About ... 192016.pdf

and also here in case they ever take it down:
http://www.dbperry.net/MBTA/articles/Fa ... 192016.pdf

The majority of respondents (73%) expressed negative sentiments towards a proposed fare increase.
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Re: 2016 Fare Increase discussion

Postby Rockingham Racer » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:39 am

Almost 75% of the comments were of negative sentiment. And most of those had to do with service quality. We shouldn't be surprised, I guess.

Just as an experiment, I recently signed up for T-alerts for every single line on the system. My email was bombarded with several alerts each rush hour, and there were alerts throughout the day as well as on weekends. All this points to unreliability, IMHO--but for those that ride, I guess that's not news, either.
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Re: 2016 Fare Increase discussion

Postby jamesinclair » Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:52 pm

leviramsey wrote:
It's exactly the same thing in every important respect. Board a Caltrain without buying a ticket beforehand and the conductor checks you, you're paying at least $240 plus whatever the fare is.


No, its not. Caltrain is a tap-on tap-off system using POP. The conductor is not expected to check everybody.
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Re: 2016 Fare Increase discussion

Postby leviramsey » Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:43 pm

jamesinclair wrote:
leviramsey wrote:
It's exactly the same thing in every important respect. Board a Caltrain without buying a ticket beforehand and the conductor checks you, you're paying at least $240 plus whatever the fare is.


No, its not. Caltrain is a tap-on tap-off system using POP. The conductor is not expected to check everybody.


MBTA commuter rail effectively runs on POP already (any system where one's ticket/pass is checked after sitting down in the vehicle is POP). The only differences besides particulars of how one pays the fare are: MBTA aims for a 100% ticket/pass check rate (while Caltrain aims for a much lower proportion; also the MBTA's check rate is somewhere around 99%), MBTA for the most part has a penalty fare equal to the regular fare (Caltrain's penalty fare is $250 regardless of distance), the MBTA doesn't call it a penalty fare, and the MBTA has you pay the penalty fare immediately.

Which of those is the significant difference? The names things go by aren't important for anything but marketing. The exact numbers for check rate and penalty fare aren't relevant (for any choice of one, one can choose the other to make it not worth it to try for a free ride), at least no more relevant than the color of the rolling stock.
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Re: 2016 Fare Increase discussion

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:21 pm

Rockingham Racer wrote:Just as an experiment, I recently signed up for T-alerts for every single line on the system. My email was bombarded with several alerts each rush hour, and there were alerts throughout the day as well as on weekends. All this points to unreliability, IMHO--but for those that ride, I guess that's not news, either.

Rail lines only or bus as well? If the latter, might indicate an issue not confined to one operating unit, but an agency as a whole.
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Re: 2016 Fare Increase discussion

Postby NH2060 » Mon Mar 07, 2016 7:42 pm

Fare hike approved. Fares will increase 9.3% on July 1st:
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massac ... story.html
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Re: 2016 Fare Increase discussion

Postby deathtopumpkins » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:55 pm

Some details from the T's press release:

Rapid transit fare (CharlieCard): $2.25 (+$0.15)
Rapid transit fare (cash): $2.75 (+$0.10)

Bus fare (Charliecard): $1.70 (+$0.10)
Bus fare (cash): $2.00 (-$0.10)

Link pass: $84.50 (+$9.50)

Commuter rail tickets increased $0.50-$1.00, depending on zone.
Zone 1 is now $6.25 (+$0.50)
Zone 10 is now $12.50 (+$1.00)
Interzone fares 1-3 stayed the same, 4-9 increased by $0.25

Commuter rail passes increased as much as $36.25 (Zone 10).


My initial thoughts and observations:
-CharlieCard fares have increased across the board, while cash fares have either increased by smaller amounts or even decreased! I don't like this, as they are essentially raising fares for commuters while lowering fares for tourists. The trend should be toward the opposite, IMO.
-They couldn't have just made Link passes cost $85? Wouldn't that have made life so much easier?
-CharlieCards now allow TWO free transfers, as long as one of them is rapid transit. Meaning bus -> rapid transit -> bus is now possible one one fare. It was not before, which was really obnoxious if you regularly travel between, e.g. Roxbury and Somerville.
-No additional fare increase until January 1, 2019.

On the whole, this is a very significant fare increase. Yet another reason I'm glad I stopped depending on the commuter rail, as another $30 a month is a significant chunk of change.

A full comparison of fares can be found here: http://www.mbta.com/uploadedfiles/About ... HANGES.pdf
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Re: 2016 Fare Increase discussion

Postby BandA » Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:19 pm

I think there is too much of a discrepancy (roughly 3 times) between the Commuter Rail zone 1 & zone 2 fares and the rabid-transit fares, plus the fact that CR is non-transferable. Because of this I end up taking express bus (only about 2 times fare) instead of CR.
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Re: 2016 Fare Increase discussion

Postby chrisf » Tue Mar 08, 2016 12:39 am

BandA wrote:I think there is too much of a discrepancy (roughly 3 times) between the Commuter Rail zone 1 & zone 2 fares and the rabid-transit fares, plus the fact that CR is non-transferable. Because of this I end up taking express bus (only about 2 times fare) instead of CR.

The commuter rail fare schedule is even more ludicrous if you look at how the fare works on the Needham Line, for instance. It's $2.10/2.25 to go from South Station to Forest Hills, but to go another mile to Roslindale Village, it's $5.75/$6.25. To go all the way to Needham Heights, it's only an additional $0.50. Clearly the outer Boston neighborhoods are disproportionately subsidizing the line.
Strangely, the 10 ride paper commuter rail tickets are being discontinued.
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Re: 2016 Fare Increase discussion

Postby deathtopumpkins » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:39 am

chrisf wrote:Strangely, the 10 ride paper commuter rail tickets are being discontinued.


They were pointless anyway since there was no discount over using 10 single-ride tickets.
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Re: 2016 Fare Increase discussion

Postby Rbts Stn » Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:08 am

True, no discount, but much convenience for folks who ride in 2-3 times/month and could buy a 10 ride every couple months instead of having to buy individual tickets each and every ride.
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Re: 2016 Fare Increase discussion

Postby leviramsey » Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:09 am

chrisf wrote:The commuter rail fare schedule is even more ludicrous if you look at how the fare works on the Needham Line, for instance. It's $2.10/2.25 to go from South Station to Forest Hills, but to go another mile to Roslindale Village, it's $5.75/$6.25. To go all the way to Needham Heights, it's only an additional $0.50. Clearly the outer Boston neighborhoods are disproportionately subsidizing the line.


On the other hand, the riders to Roslindale Village are taking up seats that could have been sold to Needham Heights. Admittedly, on the Needham Line, that's less of a concern, but it is a consideration for Hyde Park. Since there's minimal interzone ridership, part of every commuter rail fare is effectively renting the seat to the outer terminal.
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Re: 2016 Fare Increase discussion

Postby jamesinclair » Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:32 am

leviramsey wrote:MBTA for the most part has a penalty fare equal to the regular fare (Caltrain's penalty fare is $250 regardless of distance), the MBTA doesn't call it a penalty fare, and the MBTA has you pay the penalty fare immediately.

Which of those is the significant difference? The names things go by aren't important for anything but marketing. .


Actually, the law makes it a significant difference.

In Europe, if you are caught evading fares, you will be charges a high fine. The police officer will even walk you to the ATM.

In the US, you get a ticket you have to pay at a later date.

Why the difference? The constitution.

Thats a little more important than marketing.
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