Ring of Steel: Fare Gates at BOS, BON, & BBY

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Re: Ring of Steel: Fare Gates at BOS, BON, & BBY

Postby saulblum » Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:48 pm

Last night the 5:55 Fitchburg left North Station 10 minutes late, on track 7, and was not announced till around 6:02. The 6:15 Downeaster started boarding on track 8 around 6:00. Around six surplus Keolis employees (I mean ticket checkers) were standing around the platform doors, and did not do any checks of passengers once the Fitchburg train was announced.

This was my first time experiencing this nonsense, and of course the lack of checks was an acknowledgement that the platform checks slow down boarding, on a train already running 10 minutes late. And with the Downeaster boarding on the same platform, how could the checks have been done anyway?

To top it off, the conductors announced that we'd still have to show them our tickets, even though they were checked already (which they were not).

Utter incompetence.
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Re: Ring of Steel: Fare Gates at BOS, BON, & BBY

Postby RenegadeMonster » Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:52 pm

The 6:05 Newburyport was also delayed 10 minutes last night. Also, love how they didn't announce there was going to be a delay until 6:05...

As you mentioned, it doesn't appear the ticket checkers check anything trains that have been delayed. They just waive everyone through.
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Re: Ring of Steel: Fare Gates at BOS, BON, & BBY

Postby BandA » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:08 pm

If they are losing fares at the rate they claim, which I think they are, then Keolis/MBTA needs to do something before 2020. The ideal solution would be to implement Charlie Card 2.0 in 2018 on the commuter rail, debug it, then phase it in on the other modes.

Instead of the Ring of Steel, what are the alternatives for the next three years?
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Re: Ring of Steel: Fare Gates at BOS, BON, & BBY

Postby RenegadeMonster » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:33 pm

I don't see them doing anything other than the Ring of Steel before 2020.

I voice my opinion to them they they need more staffing and more set capacity and this would make a worlds more difference being able to efficiently check every ticket. The Ring Of Steel is only a small bandaid on a much larger problem, and it shows that conductors are not able to collect all fares on the trains.

It seems like the current plan for 2018 is have Manual Gates at the 3 Boston stations, and have random checks on the outer stations inbound in the morning in the style they are doing the checks now at the Boston Stations.

I haven't been able to get any confirmation out of them if they plan to add additional crew members to trains. It doesn't sound like that is their approach for the time being.
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Re: Ring of Steel: Fare Gates at BOS, BON, & BBY

Postby BandA » Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:48 pm

Link is working, (although the proprietary Powerpoint slides render poorly in Libreoffice.)

Text version of page 8:
--------------------------
Sample Trip: Commuter Rail
tap in > ride > get inspected (on-board?) > tap out

[allowed media]
Fare card
NFC phone (or wearable)
Contactless credit card

Fare Vending Machines (FVMs) will be located within the station or within close walking distance for cash top up.

[standards]
Station validators will be installed at all Commuter Rail stations to support tap in and tap out.
FVMs must be located at all Zone 1A stations and a point of sale (FVM or retail) must be located at stations that account for 50% of weekday inbound boardings.
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Re: Ring of Steel: Fare Gates at BOS, BON, & BBY

Postby RenegadeMonster » Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:26 pm

Just spoke with Keolis supervisor / manager tonight.

I can confirm they have hired 18 more conductors who have just started training. We should see them on the trains by December. They wanted more to do the job right but that's all they could get hire for now. It's a start.


When I brought up people riding passed their zones he seemed surprised they weren't being caught by the conductors. He said the conductors have a tool, paper slips to check zones and should be making routine sweeps between stations. It came as a surprise to him when I said I have never seen them used on outbound trains, only in the morning inbound. Hope I didn't stir up a can of worms for the conductors.
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Re: Ring of Steel: Fare Gates at BOS, BON, & BBY

Postby RenegadeMonster » Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:08 am

I'm not sure.

I just know he had a white Keolis shirt as part of his uniform and was dressed more formal than standard conductors / keolis staff.
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Re: Ring of Steel: Fare Gates at BOS, BON, & BBY

Postby MBTA3247 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:26 pm

One rider was arrested at North Station after escalating a dispute over his faded pass.

The Boston Globe wrote:The MBTA’s new push to check tickets on commuter rail platforms has yielded its first arrest. Problem is, the passenger had a valid ticket — and a bit of an attitude.

Jim Yarin, a 58-year-old Acton resident and longtime commuter rail passenger, had already paid for an entire month of rides with an October pass. He was detained last week by Transit Police on a North Station platform and charged with trespassing after the ticket checkers said they could not verify that his paper ticket was valid.

Yarin concedes that he could have avoided arrest but says he escalated the situation out of principle.
Last edited by CRail on Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fair use quote added.
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Re: Ring of Steel: Fare Gates at BOS, BON, & BBY

Postby RenegadeMonster » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:44 pm

Wow, that's not cool. And he had a valid pass. Based on the globe article they could have made out the "OCT 2017" had they spent more time looking at the ticket and very well could have allowed him to board but urge him to get it replaced at the counter the next day verses just telling him he had to go to the ticket counter and could not board until it was replaced.


Guess I need to be more careful. I have a few times walked right by them without pulling out my monthly pass on purpose in protest of this ticket checking. When they said "excuse me sir" I just kept walking and the transit police never paid any attention to me nor did anyone follow me down the platform. Mainly did this on the first couple weeks though, especially when they were doing the ticket checking after a train had been delayed...
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Re: Ring of Steel: Fare Gates at BOS, BON, & BBY

Postby saulblum » Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:52 pm

Unless there is a new published statement of fare (most I could find recent at https://d3044s2alrsxog.cloudfront.net/u ... 0Final.pdf) then these platform ticket checks violate the T's fare rules.

Cash is accepted on the Commuter Rail, but a $3.00 surcharge per ticket applies to all Commuter Rail tickets purchased on -board in the following cases:
* On all outbound trains at all times when departing from a station with Fare Vending Machines
* On inbound trains on weekdays (non-holidays), when departing from a station where tickets are sold onsite. A list of locations of where tickets are sold is located on www.mbta.com.


If a passenger tries to board the train with cash in hand, and a ticket checker and the Transit Police detain him, they are violating the T's own published tariff rules.
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Re: Ring of Steel: Fare Gates at BOS, BON, & BBY

Postby RenegadeMonster » Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:02 pm

Good question.

As far as I know that has not changed. But there is a new Automated Announcement that starts at 4pm at least at North Station that says passengers required to have their passes/tickets out and visible for ticket agents to inspect prior to boarding. It also mentions something about activating mobile tickets. I don't remember the exact language.


Yesterday they drove me nuts by making me walk through the whole queue line to board the 4:30 Newburyport Express train when there was no line / no crowds. I tried cutting through directly to track one through it and they wouldn't have it.

And after all that, they didn't even check my Monthly pass.

People going to Salem obviously got passed them, because one was paying cash onboard for the $10 round trip Salem ticket and was arguing about being charged $13 on board.
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Re: Ring of Steel: Fare Gates at BOS, BON, & BBY

Postby saulblum » Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:14 pm

RenegadeMonster wrote:Good question.

As far as I know that has not changed. But there is a new Automated Announcement that starts at 4pm at least at North Station that says passengers required to have their passes/tickets out and visible for ticket agents to inspect prior to boarding. It also mentions something about activating mobile tickets. I don't remember the exact language.


I have heard those announcements, and have seen the signs saying the same.

Check out the T's reply as to whether you can buy tickets on-board:

https://twitter.com/MBTA_CR/status/910598283541794816

On-board sales are still an option, but trains being checked require passengers to have tix prior to boarding as part of Fare is Fair.


In other words, "you can still buy tickets on board unless we tell you at the platform that you can't, and we won't tell you in advance which trains will be checked in advance."

Of course these legal technicalities are moot unless someone challenges them. And with this arrest, maybe, just maybe, this whole charade will be struck down as against T policy. I have little hope though.
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Re: Ring of Steel: Fare Gates at BOS, BON, & BBY

Postby RenegadeMonster » Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:18 pm

saulblum wrote:Of course these legal technicalities are moot unless someone challenges them. And with this arrest, maybe, just maybe, this whole charade will be struck down as against T policy. I have little hope though.


And lets hope this gets challenged. Sounds like they picked a fight with a guy who may very well do just that. A paralegal who works at a law firm and who refused to have the charge of trespassing dismissed by writing a letter of apology as he feels like he did nothing wrong.
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Re: Ring of Steel: Fare Gates at BOS, BON, & BBY

Postby CRail » Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:12 pm

He did do something wrong, he deliberately escalated a situation that could have been avoided rather easily. He wasn't arrested for having a faded pass, he was arrested and charged with civil disobedience.

He knows what he's doing and will accept what consequences come of his actions, and for that I say all the power to him. But taking your frustration towards a policy out on those who were charged with enforcing it is foolish and it accomplishes absolutely nothing.
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Re: Ring of Steel: Fare Gates at BOS, BON, & BBY

Postby edbear » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:33 pm

There is no such crime as civil disobedience. Civil violations usually do not result in an arrest. The thugs are the enforcers and those who employ them. Why would someone apologize for being right?
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