The Metro reports MBTA inspectors will be swarming 12 key Green Line stops today and through the end of December for a "fare enforcement blitz." The T also plans to seek legislation to increase the fine for fare evasion from $15 to $100.
Are they going to enforce the drivers as well? How many times have we all walked onto a car trying to pay but the driver has their hand over the farebox and is waving you through just to make good time?
that means the farebox is broken. But I could be wrong...but remember that the fareboxes seem to be made of sugar.
Awesome. I love watching a good T-bust on my commute. I haven't seen one in a while. Usually they happen on the couple Bredas that have the cameras retrofitted in.
It's disgusting how many people swoop on, especially between Blandford and Packard's Corner on the B line. It's usually college kids who look like mommy and daddy are paying their way anyway...not people who can't afford it.
The schools get an 11% discount to sell semester-long (4-month) passes to students so it's pretty easy to just roll that into your tuition/costs and have access to the city via the MBTA.
When I was at Northeastern, I don't remember anybody buying this pass unless they were on co-op. And that's on the E line, which is way harder to sneak onto than the B line. Maybe it has changed, but the E line would never open all of the doors above ground, whereas the B line almost always does during rush hour. I doubt any BU kids are spending their money on T passes, even through the university.
Which is why they should just roll the cost of a monthly pass into the student fees and basically make their student id's double as Charlie cards. It would give the T a slug of revenue off a bunch of riders who apparently jump fares somewhat frequently on the Green Line as it is. Some of the students (BMW driving foreign students) would pay into it, even though they wouldn't represent a burden on the system as they never use it. Perhaps some sort of discount on the University's pilot payments to the city could even be worked out.
Seems reasonable. Especially since I'm no longer a student nor have kids who will be.
Say the T has a special program: University semester pass fees - full travel of the system for $150, good September 1 - December 31, and $200 for Jan 1 - May 31
Or heck, $300 per year? Sure, it's $300, but it gets you $59x9 months worth of service.
Meanwhile, tuition, fees, and books, and room and board are running $30-$50K a year at area institutions.
Complaining about that sort of fee, where you actually get free run of the system for your expense, would be like when drivers complain about an extra $20 in registration fees - it is truly trivial compared to the full cost.
Too many holes in that suggestion for me to argue all of them right now, but to start.. What about students who commute? It's nice to think we can pin thousands of dollars on the tuition bills of rich foreigners, but you're ignoring all of those who commute, might pay only $20k a year in tuition, and work their asses of to pay their way through college. I'd be pretty freaking pissed if I lived at home, drove to class every day, and had to pay an extra amount (any amount, really) on my tuition for "public transit."
Seriously - how many people DRIVE to class on a daily basis inside of Boston and Cambridge - people who aren't employees, that is? How much is that costing them already? Insurance for a young person is usually more than $500 a year, plus gas, plus ... PARKING ... which is likely the most expensive part. And, if you have a parking spot or pass, there is no reason you couldn't get an exemption.
Besides, who said anything about "thousands of dollars"? What part of $300 a year is "thousands of dollars"? Even the nondiscounted amount for nine months of T passes would be $531 a year. Compared to $20 K a year, compared to driving costs, that's trivial.
Meanwhile, others who commute by T would be getting a bit of a discount.
I call strawman on this. Big giant Burningman-sized strawman.
Well, there ARE some students who might rightly or not resent paying for a T pass because they "car-commute." Maybe at Wentworth or Franklin or something. When I went to BU there actually were a number of commuting students, but they were using the T. Bunker Hill obviously has a big-ass parking lot around it, so somebody is driving there (although they also have their own Orange Line stop).
I'm sure that for those students who actually drive everyday into Boston to go to school (?!) there could be some sort of 'out.'
The same University pass program could be expanded to faculty/staff as well (I think there are already some things like this) which might take a few more cars off the road.
Of course the flip-side to this is that the T has to be held to some performance standards in regards to getting all these additional riders to their destination on time.
Maybe this just sounds cuckoo.
Yes, and when I was at BU I knew a lot of people who lived off campus (primarily in Allston vs South Campus) who got the BU semester pass. We lived far enough away from the main part of campus that taking the T was probably more common than on Northeastern's campus.
The fine should be much higher. Proof of Payment fine works better in Europe where that's the case.
Yeah, roger that. I was in London recently, where there is a big push on for enforcement - the ads read:
"It's easy to spot a ticket inspector - they look just like you" (referring to ununiformed British Transport Police and Underground employees conducting inspections). I had a pic, but I can't seem to upload it, sorry.
Here's the kicker though - fines of up to 1,000 POUNDS and a criminal record. The record is what would get most people's attention here - you would have to be an idiot to risk that over a $1.70 fare (even for a misdemeanor).
It's easy to spot a fare inspector on the B line -- the "plainclothes" inspectors are so obvious you can spot them a mile off.
Protip for the MBTA police: There aren't a lot of 40 year old, 6ft-something men trying to dress like college students in Brighton. Get one of your younger, shorter officers to dress like he's going to work at an office downtown.
Buffalo's system (yes they have one subway line) uses the fare evasion fine system. My friend went to school there and said her and her friends always bought a $3.50 round ticket because trying to evade that fare it wasn't worth the $100 fine.
For instance, last night a nearly full Silver Line bus pulled up to Terminal E. It did not make sense to push thru the crowd from the front door, so some of us entered through the back. Once in, there was no way to reach the farebox without pushing and shoving.
up during rush hour besides two or four up front for the handicapped and elderly.
Red line has standing car only cabs, and it's amazing how much nicer they are to use during rush hour. Even when packed, you at least get a little space and can move around easier.
That's why there should be contactless readers on each side of each set of rear doors -- high speed ones, preferably, given how slow the regular ones can be.
remember the days of throwing spare change into a slot and hoping every penny registers.
My memory of the spare change technique was not so much caring that the pennies registered, but hoping that it took long enough for the machine to process the 23 cents that I'd be far in the back by the time the driver knew I hadn't paid the full fare.
The drivers need to enforce fare payment. I see people get on the bus and give an excuse as to why they can't pay. The driver waves them onto the bus without payment.
The drivers are under pressure to keep the trains moving. Enforcing fares runs counter to that if the cheat is stubborn.
A big part of the problem is that nobody knows the rules, including T employees.
If you have a pass, do you have to validate it on the platform before you board? Or just board through any door? Or board through the back and then go up to the front to pay?
If you have a stored value ticket or card, do you have to validate it on the platform, or do you have to pay at the front?
When will all the doors open, and when just the front door?
Another big nuisance is that CharlieTicket acceptance is so slow at fareboxes (many of them do the ee-oo-ee-oo-ee-oo-ee-oo-ee-oooo thing), and it's so hard to put a 7-day pass on a CharlieCard (you need a T employee to log into the ticket machine, or you need to go to a Charlie-equipped convenience store). That's why so many drivers wave people through.
IT'S MASS TRANSIT! The trolley would never move if you took fares during rush hours. It's that simple. If you want people taking mass transit during commutes instead of driving, than this is the only way to do it.
The green line does charge during off peak hours.
I used to live on that line without a monthly pass and I would jump fares all the time. Why? Because I was squeezed into a six inch square space near the door on the back car and frankly, I didn't feel particularly bad about it. I mean, I would have paid if there was a remote chance that I could have gotten in the front door, but if there was no space, what was I going to do? Plus, honestly, when I was roasting while my face was spending intimate time with someone's armpit, it didn't seem like a huge deal.
Now I have a monthly pass and don't live there, but I'm just saying, at least some of this isn't purposeful fare evasion, it's just the reality of trying to get on the train.
I'm willing to bet the majority of the stops they'll be monitoring are the above-ground ones, but they won't be taking into consideration the fact that most above-ground stops (specifically on the e line) don't have fare machines where you can add money to your Charlie card or buy a new weekly pass when you realize too late that yours is expired. These days, few people carry cash and prefer to use debit or credit, so when there is no way to update your card at an above-ground stop you either have to risk being late to wherever it is that you're going and walk to the nearest underground stop, or simply hop on and buy a new pass when you get off. Poor planning on MBTA's part.
Not poor planning on the T's part. Poor planning on the passenger's part not to have enough value on the card, or to have any cash on hand. Walk to an ATM and get cash. Simple.
If you went to a restaurant that didn't take credit cards and didn't have enough cash on you, should the waiter let you off the hook?
“This is not a free ride,” said Davey. “While people are waiting for the trains they will check the ticket or deduct the fare before they get on.”
Is this actually a fare enforcement "blitz" - in the sense of handing out tickets - or just a surge of platform validation inspectors?
There was a teenager at Park Street around 5:30 being TAKEN DOWN by the cops for fare evasion. I had never seen the like on the T before. There were maybe 25 people staring at the spectacle. Move along folks! Etc.