MBTA looks to phase out bus, trolley fare machines that accept cash

The Globe reports the T is looking at replacing the current fare machines on buses and trolleys with new devices that would only accept payments by phone, credit card or CharlieCard.

A T board member said that in addition to speeding up boarding, the new system would satisfy what she claims is public demand to be charged based on distance or time of day. Ed. question: Any of you T riders clamoring to be charged more for riding at rush hour or from Forest Hills to Braintree?

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    Examples

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    Yes an App. But also NFC-enabled phones (Google Pay, Apple Pay, etc)

    Edit: it also would included credit cards and contactless cards too

    If the slowdown from

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    If the slowdown from accepting cash onboard buses is really the T's priority, they should put CharlieCard machines in many more places before talking about replacing the whole system.

    Also, the readers take forever to process the paper CharlieTickets. Wuddupwiddat?

    That's part of the plan

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    The bulk of the Globe article is actually about the ramifications for poor people who may not have either smartphones or credit cards and the T saying the new system will require expanding the number of places (both stores and at bus stops) where people can use cash to add value to their CharlieCards.

    As a Forest Hills rider (upper busway represents!), the thing I never get is people who seem unable to just walk inside the station and put money on their cards before the bus arrives and who always seem to be the first person in line when the bus shows up, so they gum up boarding as they insert their dollar bills or quarters or whatever. I guess that would end with the new machines, so at least from a purely selfish perspective of having to wait an extra 30 or 60 seconds, huzzah!

    Duh?

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    Um, because if you stand on the bus trying to find your wallet for more than 10 seconds the driver will just wave you on for free? Bostonians are famous chizzlers and skinflints who will perform nothing short of a Broadway musical to get away with not paying a $2.50 bus fare. On the commuter rail I have seen people present 10 hole punch tickets with hundreds of punches in them in hopes that they will avoid having to take out the perfectly good punch ticket that they have in their pocket (tip - don't try to pull that shit with Frank on the Needham line)

    soulmate?

    I have never read a comment on this site that answered a question in such a dead-on accurate and entertaining way. I echo this sentiment 100%.

    Also, a big shout to Frank on the Needham Line. I usually the the 608 train (and he's on the 606), but when I do take his train, he's the highlight of it.

    oh

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    As a Forest Hills rider (upper busway represents!), the thing I never get is people who seem unable to just walk inside the station and put money on their cards before the bus arrives and who always seem to be the first person in line when the bus shows up, so they gum up boarding as they insert their dollar bills or quarters or whatever.

    You must ride the 111 also :-) happens all the time. ALL the time.

    The problem being

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    We've heard this before.. I remember trying to buy passes before the current AFC. Very very few stores sold the passes.

    When they rolled out the current AFC back then, they claimed the AFC would allow for more stores to sell the passes and cards. Yeah some stores did sign up (mostly Tedeschi, 7-11, and White Hen locations (which are now all one in the same)), but it's still far and few between.

    I'd like to see how they plan in enticing stores to give up valuable floor space for machines (or counter space for a computer like the system is now) for something they may only make a buck or two on (or any money, if at all).

    Ever try to buy a pass at a non-MBTA location, like a Tedeschi? First, the cashier will groan at you. Then they'll tell you its cash only. Then they'll tell you the machine is broken (if a sign isn't already posted). There's absolutely no incitement for these stores to sell these cards since so little money is made. Once they realize they aren't going to make any money, they won't offer to sell the cards anymore.

    Buy?

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    Protip: Charlie Cards are free... just ask for one at any manned booth (might be easier said than done, but they are free). They (used to?) scatter them on top of the re-charge kiosks too, so us tall folks always have access.

    NO CHARLIECARDS

    More often than not I've seen the same "NO CARDS" sign scribbled with a sharpie and posted in major stations.

    They stopped giving them out

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    They stopped giving them out at most stations a couple years back. Now you can only get them at certain major stations - and only between 7AM-7PM. They don't just lay 'em out anymore.

    Luckily I had a ton left over from before...

    Yup, and...

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    Think you can add value to your CharlieCard online? Well, kinda. You can add it, but it doesn't become active until you tap your card to one of their fare machines. That's perfectly fine if you take the subway, but if you're a bus rider, no dice.

    I could be wrong

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    but I believe I recall one month I forgot to purchase my monthly LinkPass before the first of the month, and I went online to do it through my CharlieCard account.

    I had the same thought that I wouldn't be able to tap and activate the pass on the bus, but it worked, saving an extra trip to a subway station.

    Instead of giving out

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    Instead of giving out CharlieCards for free, why doesn't the MBTA charge a dollar for the card itself and make them more widely available?

    I had to pay

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    $3 each for the Clipper Card for San Francisco's public transit. Surely the MBTA could charge $1.

    DC too

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    In DC it's $2 for a MARTA card. The downside is that it sucks for tourists and visitors. I'm not a big fan of pushing a bigger burden on guests than we're willing to pay ourselves. Others have differing opinions, of course.

    People always seem unaware

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    People always seem unaware that many convenience stores and grocery stores carry them.

    I literally walk across the street to Tedeschi's and can get a Charlie Card in Allston.

    Half the internet thinks you have to go to Downtown Crossing.

    Timing?

    Perhaps people would rather take care of their business on the bus than risk missing the bus because they're fiddling with the machines in the station?

    That's the purpose of making

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    That's the purpose of making sure you have sufficient funds on your card to begin with. Of course we all know the real reason is that there are people who would rather use their card to pay the Charlie card rate of 1.60 each time they use the bus instead of paying the minimum of 5.00 at the vending machines.

    My brain just imploded

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    there is no $5 minimum at the kiosks, you can enter whatever amount you'd like

    Moreover

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    Unlike on the bus, you can get change back if you just want to have enough for one ride (though please, put a round trip on that.)

    A Beep or a Buzz

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    To make it fair they would need to put Charlie card kiosks at every bus stop. If a rider gets on a bus at a stop with no kiosk and no money on the card then what... Free ride? Credit card and pay by phone is the only way to go to avoid spending so much time boarding passengers.

    They should be required have a credit card or some type of account linked to the proximity Charlie card. Walk on the bus, beep, and your good to go... get a buzz, sorry off you go... no fumbling with expired credit card after overdrawn credit to the point the driver just gives them a free ride... Their ride hinges on a two second process of a beep or a Buzz.

    The optimal solution would be

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    The optimal solution would be requiring cards at terminals and allowing cash everywhere else. Like commuter rail which charges a penalty if you board without a ticket at stops with machines

    Cash payers on buses

    Yes, the ones who need to put in cash always seem to get on first, especially when it is raining or bitterly cold.

    Edit: This was supposed to show up in response to Adam's comment, not here.

    Agreed. It's ridiculous that

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    Agreed. It's ridiculous that there aren't Charlie machines at every surface Green Line station, and major bus stops.

    The underlying cause of the slow fare collection is the terrible design of the farebox coin slot and bill acceptor (and CharlieTicket reader). Farebox manufacturers figured out decades ago how to design a hopper where you could dump a handful of coins. But we got fareboxes with a soda machine-style slot, where you need to feed each coin slowly.

    Refusing to take cash on buses is a terrible idea.

    London has done it, but they take contactless credit cards on the bus, and all UK credit cards have that feature. (Most American cards don't. Too bad for international visitors.)

    I'm not sure why they're comparing this plan to Chicago, since CTA buses do take cash.

    About time!! We are in 2016

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    About time!! We are in 2016 so we need to be all done with the old way of paying for the bus. The bus gets delayed because people are counting change and then more time just putting it in..! Get a Charlie Card or buy a pass from your phone Brilliant!!

    But one of the factors about

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    But one of the factors about buses is many riders don't go that close to a T station where they can load the cards. If you are stretched for cash, you can't load up in that one time a month you take the subway.

    OKay

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    Third post.. sorry. I'm having a large discussion about this on my facebook wall, so I'm full of comments. But to adam's question

    Ed. question: Any of you T riders clamoring to be charged more for riding at rush hour or from Forest Hills to Braintree?

    I feel like this is where this will end up. Entrance and Exit fares. And a fare structure similar to the WMATA (DC Metro) or BART.

    Just a way to squeeze more $ out of the riders..

    Yes

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    But the Braintree branch had exit fares until the launch of the current AFC in 2006ish.

    Many transit systems use exit fares because they've moved to distance based fares. Which is what I think where the T wants to go in terms of pricing structure.

    Ah yes the Braintree Branch.

    Ah yes the Braintree Branch. At one point I had one of the most comprehensive MBTA passes available when I was 19 because I had to go all over the place for work and school. For weeks I would go to Braintree station and it worked to get me on and off , even with the exit fare. Then apparently they changed the rules and I went to go leave the station and the turn style wouldn't turn. I tried to explain to the attendant that I did not have any cash and he was not phased. I joked that this sounded an awful lot like that song Charlie on the MTA and he did not think it was funny. So I walked back and luckily had a cell phone at that point, I called my father and asked him what to do. His response was to run, hurdle the turnstyle and book it but to leave my phone on in my pocket while I did it. So I did what he said and he was right, the attendant did not chase after me. Ever since then I have had a sour taste for exit fares.

    simple answer...

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    Ed. question: Any of you T riders clamoring to be charged more for riding at rush hour or from Forest Hills to Braintree?

    NO

    On a personal level I look

    On a personal level I look forward to being able to pay from my phone.

    There is a real concern for low income residents though that was not fully addressed by the article or the MBTA. I am not sure if it is possible to make sure that these machines are available everywhere they would need to be to ensure low income riders outside of the busiest areas still have access to the system. In Chelsea/Revere I think about the 116/117 route near the border between the cities that is a little more sparsely populated but still has low income residents. The same issue arises on the 112 and 111 near Washington Ave and Jefferson where residents would have to walk a distance to get to the closest convenience store (assuming that store did in fact carry the cards.) The 455 and 450 to Lynn and Salem have similar stretches as well where there are not ideal locations for these machines. Not to mention routes like the 430 to Cliftondale Square in Saugus or the 119 to Northgate in Revere. Those are just some obvious issue routes in this one little section of the North Shore in low income areas, I imagine it is the same or worse in other parts of the city.

    It is also easier said than done to convince stores to carry a service that does not make them much money. That is a persistent issue for cities that offer a city bag for garbage, especially with larger companies that can not be cajoled into doing it just to be helpful. The same issue comes up with local news papers in some local stores, as soon as it does not make money it gets wiped out.

    Although some of the routes I mentioned are routes that I believe Charlie Baker would like to privatize... so it is entirely possible he is two steps ahead and is outsourcing the problem before it becomes a problem for the main system :/

    Public demand

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    This public member feels more like demanding that the MBTA board member resign from her position.

    If they started charging more for me to travel all the way in to Downtown Crossing and then out again, to a destination that's closer to where I started, that would be the last day I took the T to work.

    Pay by phone =

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    a lot of phone thefts at fare boxes.

    Seen this happen, have you?

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    Do you really foresee a big upsurge in phone thefts (right in front of a driver, on a security camera, probably in front of other riders) because people start using their phones to pay a fare in addition to the dozen other things they're doing with their phones when they get on the bus?

    Maybe that's what I want?

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    If "charged based on time of day" means paying for a day ticket and then getting it stamped at every door of the bus or train or paying a huge fine for having an unstamped ticket, then yes please.

    The thing that gets me

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    The thing that gets me whenever a topic like this comes up is the direction of our monetary system.

    Our nation's currency says right on it: "This note is legal tender for all debts public and private."

    How can a public transportation agency, underwritten by public money, basically refuse to take cash?

    I agree with one caveat. When

    I agree with one caveat. When I was a kid (I am 34) the bus used to be 60 cents for a child and 75 cents for an adult I believe. It might have been less... I just remember it being a big deal when it hit a dollar. I remember you would just toss your coins in and it would be taken care of but then those machines got old or would jam. The "new" machines are missing the metal funnel so now you have to wait as people put each nickel or dime into the slot. Forget about it if they have paper money, the machines will spit it out 20 times. The "problem" started when they previously decided to update the system and make it "more efficient."

    Key word:

    Debts.
    If you owe someone money and you try to pay in cash, they have to accept it, basically. They can't refuse, say PayPal only, then claim they weren't paid.

    Nice guess

    But no that won't cover it. Try paying your kid's tuition with a bag of cash and see how that goes.

    when I worked at BU

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    a kid paid cash for all four years. Schools don't *want* to take cash, but they certainly will.

    You can do it

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    Bursar's Offices will take cash. If it's over $10k they have to fill out an IRS 8300 and you significantly increase your risk of being audited by the Feds next tax season, but there's no reason why a college can't take cash for tuition payments and most have instructions on how to do it on their bursar's office webpages (search "tuition 8300" on Google).

    Who said...

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    Who said you won't be able to pay for the T in cash? Load up your card at a station, shop or machine.

    Assuming the T can put machines in many, many more locations, this should be a total win.

    I've taken the 1 bus from Mass Ave & Columbus to Harvard Square and had it take 20 minutes longer because of people fussing with cash to pay.

    Similar experiences on the Green Line.

    If the buses and Trollys aren't fast, no one will ever switch from cars and you'll never increase your fare box recovery ratio.

    If we can get simple machines that dispense Charlie Cards everywhere (forget buying them in stores - that's equally rediculous), this would be great from an on time perspective.

    If they introduce distance based fares, well, that's a separate issue.

    If you want to pay in cash or tokens, go back to the 80s.

    Fare boxes poorly implemented

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    One reason paying cash on the bus is so slow is because the fare boxes really suck. With the previous fare boxes you could just drop in a handful of coins and it would quickly count them. When I lived in Chicago in the 80's, their buses not only had that, they also had a very fast dollar bill acceptor that never returned your bill to you.

    The technology exists (and has for a long time) to have fare boxes that would accept cash faster. I wonder if the whole goal of the T's current fare boxes is to make it so annoying to pay cash that fewer people will do it.

    Assuming the T can put

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    Assuming the T can put machines in many, many more locations, this should be a total win.

    But that's the underlying issue here. The T doesn't want to put fare machines in new locations. In support of this posture, they claim "Well, nearly everyone has a smartphone, so they can use an app." Classic "do the least amount of work possible and claim it's an improvement" management.

    Earth to MBTA management - Lots of your riders do NOT have smartphones. And lots of your riders that do (myself included) choose to not pay for things with an app.

    Although US currency is considered to be

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    legal tender for all debts, there is no legal requirement that any business or entity must accept cash as a form of payment. From the US Treasury web site:

    Legal Tender Status

    Page Content
    I thought that United States currency was legal tender for all debts. Some businesses or governmental agencies say that they will only accept checks, money orders or credit cards as payment, and others will only accept currency notes in denominations of $20 or smaller. Isn't this illegal?
    The pertinent portion of law that applies to your question is the Coinage Act of 1965, specifically Section 31 U.S.C. 5103, entitled "Legal tender," which states: "United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues."

    This statute means that all United States money as identified above are a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor. There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. (emphasis added)Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise. For example, a bus line may prohibit payment of fares in pennies or dollar bills. In addition, movie theaters, convenience stores and gas stations may refuse to accept large denomination currency (usually notes above $20) as a matter of policy.

    I don't think that means what you think it means

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    Our nation's currency says right on it: "This note is legal tender for all debts public and private."

    AFAIK, that means simply that it's a valid form of payment under our monetary system, i.e., that it's not just a meaningless piece of paper someone handed to you. It does not mean that everyone is obligated to accept it. It's perfectly legal for a business to say that it will not accept any bills larger than $20, for example.

    I'm the anon who asked the

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    I'm the anon who asked the "legal tender" question.

    One of the replies got it exactly right about paying your tuition at the college bursar's window.

    Offhand, does anybody know when the Treasury started putting the "legal tender" statement on currency? Was it when we went off the gold standard? Somewhere in a box at home or in my parents' house I have a collector's item, beautiful condition, $1 bill - a "Silver Certificate" at least 50 years old.

    I wouldn't be astonished if that statement was not there previously but was added to emphasize that a $X bill was worth $X even if it wasn't tied to a quantity of gold or silver.

    As to "still being able to use cash to buy CharlieCards or tickets at a vending machine or store"... Part of my issue with that is that if you're not putting TVMs at each bus stop and/or you're on a bus route that doesn't have a handy store at each stop (or stores that aren't open all the time that the T is running) - you're putting obstacles between people and using the transit system.

    The other part of my issue with that is it forces you to buy something that makes your movements traceable (unlike tokens). Also, Cards/tickets/stored value can be made to expire or lock, forcing you to buy more or jump through other hoops to keep the value of what you've already purchased.

    This is (initially) for the commuter rail and for tourists

    This isn’t about charging more for rush hour. This is about getting a payment system that is compatible with the commuter rail's distance-tiered pricing. The commuter rail’s payment system is still archaic with no electronic/CharlieCard integration. This would finally allow to integrate the commuter rail into everything. Subway/bus could be distance-tiered down the road (many cities do this) but this is initially for the commuter rail.

    The other main purpose is to get micropayment for tourists/one-timers working with just a CC or phone, rather than making them get a separate card for the T, which is a waste of time and resources. This is how it works in many countries today, and what a lot of people expect. Ideally, if all cities adopted it, those who travel a lot then don’t have to learn and deal with a separate cards for every city—you just use your CC/phone everywhere. Local commuters, though, would just continue with their monthly CharlieCard passes.

    One thing where time-variance pricing could apply is with the loss-inducing services that they’ve been reducing/removing—such as weekend commuter rail service, and of course late-night subway service. They could charge more for weekend commuter rail and late-night subway to keep it from losing money, which may not be ideal, but is still better than no service at all. So--it is not for charging more during (profitable) rush-hour times, it is actually for charging more during (non-profitable) low-use times.

    Other way around

    Charge more during rush hour. That will smooth out the loads a little bit, push a few more people onto less crowded and cheaper trains and a few less on expensive crush-loaded ones. If you make the empty trains more expensive they're just going to get emptier and lose the agency more money. It's called peak fares, it's pretty common all around the country and the world.

    Peak hours, peak charges

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    I'm not sure that charging more for rush hour trains is going to push demand onto other trains. Weekday commuters to downtown Boston likely can't afford to live closer to their jobs and are likely also commuting when they do because their jobs don't offer flexible schedules. I suspect charging more for rush hour trains will likely just push more car traffic onto the roads.
    This purposed change seems to increase the burden on people who earn less and decrease the burden on those who earn more. Other places might use this fare system, but other places aren't Boston: a place with skyrocketing costs of living and without redundancies in transportation infrastructure.

    Require state lottery agents to sell Charlie cards

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    a) Make a pre-charged $10 Charlie Card in the shape of a scratch ticket and require lottery agents in the 78 (or whatever it is now) MBTA cities and towns to sell them. That is, if the legislature, Treasurer (Lottery) and Governor (MBTA) are willing. That eliminates the supply problem.

    b) What does the Carmen's Union say about today's proposal? The T still employs dozens of armed former bus and train operators to collect cash at the stations using T armored trucks, then deliver it to the money room in Charlestown where other former bus and train operators count it. Without cash in the system, they'll likely argue lots of lost jobs.

    c) Speaking of the state lottery, they too will soon be experimenting with a cashless system where your cell phone can be used to pay to play. Supposedly, bettors would still have to be on the premises of a lottery agent. Cash can still be used but they think cashless will attract millennials.

    I would agree, if they force

    I would agree, if they force this then the State should use its Lottery network to coax stores into participating.

    In regards to the lottery allowing pay by phone, there is already a rule against allowing credit card sales for the lottery. How is paying by phone any different?

    Re: No credit cards for lottery

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    If refusing to sell Charlie cards means losing your lottery license, I would estimate 99% or more would choose to sell the cards rather than lose the lucrative lottery.

    The way they are getting around the lottery's "no credit card rule" is to require the bettor to purchase a voucher, in any denomination, at any lottery sales agent (store/bar etc). Voucher would have a unique number or barcode and player would load that on his phone and play. Losses would be debited, wins would be credited to the phone and bettor could cash out at anytime. Like I said, the current plan is to require bettors to be on the premises of a lottery sales agent to place their bets but I think the long term plan is to allow play from anywhere. That would also allow the state to save on paying commissions for sales/cashes to the sales agents.

    7 day subway, bus,zone 1A link pass

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    Why, if you'd like one of these on a CharlieCard, can you only get them at a VERY limited number of places such as some stores and of course Back Bay and South Station ? And in my experience, with the exception of places like some large supermarkets like Star or Shaws, the store that do sell them take only cash? I prefer them to monthly passes because if a monthly pass gets lost or stops working (or if it's a paper ticket and it gets stuck in a machine;people who also use commuter rail passes have to use paper tickets) it's a major pain in the ass to get it fixed/replaced. I'd rather be out 19 bucks than, say, 80 to well over 100 bucks. And at 19 bucks for unlimited 7 day use, it's a great deal. Also of course good for people temporarily using the T on a weekly basis.

    You can also get them on a paper ticket at vending machines, and they do accept debit/credit (usually....sometimes even then vending machines will inexplicably refuse credit payment with cards you've used a thousand time previously, usually around the beginning of the month.).

    Paper tickets are in some respects better, because if a Charlie Card stops working (or a fare machine isn't working properly, a common problem) you at least have a time/date stamp on the paper ticket. They can also be used for commuter rail zone 1A, like from South Station/Back Bay to Forest Hills; a CharlieCard can't (they really need to update their commuter rail system so that CharlieCards can be used.). However, paper tickets also frequently get stuck in fair machines at stations, and many stations, especially non-rush hour, have no attendants, so you're screwed unless you use a customer service phone, you actually get an answer, and a T person actually shows up to remove your stuck ticket.

    Not Thought Out

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    This plan to embrace the digital age is ill conceived and won't change anything truly.

    Consider this... Recently UPS went to a system of delivering packages that varies from past practices. In the past if they missed you at home they might attempt delivery again the next day. worse case, they would take the package back to their depot and leave a slip in the mail box to call and arrange a better time for delivery.

    Now, if they miss you, they will drop it off at a "UPS Access Point" which is a commercial business they have partnered with that will hold your package and where you go to pick it up. Sounds great on paper but you need a photo ID to get the package.

    Many seniors, disabled, and some students will not have proper photo ID. When I asked the fellow at the UPS pick-up what happens if there is no ID, he could not answer the question.

    The same is true of many seniors who travel the T and the occasional rider whose car is at the mechanic. They choose to use American currency, and often this is a matter of need.

    While the MBTA sends its vans out into the suburbs to service seniors to get cards or get them replaced, they do not offer that service in the most densely populated area it services - Boston. You have to schlep to Downtown Crossing Station and deal with the Charlie Store.

    And as pointed out in another thread, there is a lack of machines where you can currently load up a Charlie Card. In Roslindale, the Village Market has a vendor-operated machine. Bet most didn't know that who live in that area. I discovered that by accident. The clerk at the service desk can sell you a train ticket, load a train pass or Charlie Card monthly pass, or just add dollars to the card right there. The catch however is that it is a cash-only transaction for them.

    I can see where they need a new system. At present you can in fact load your Charlie card at home on-line after you register the card's serial number. However, the card will not have the value stored on it until you tap it on a Charlie Machine at a station that has them. The value cannot be transferred at a bus fare box. So if you are nowhere near a station with a Charlie machine or only travel on a bus and never need to venture to a station, you are SOL or have to make a special trip. This is another reason why people sometimes pay cash or option to load their card on the bus. The card will update at a fare box on a bus if the transaction is done there, but if you do it online you have to go to a Charlie machine.

    I reflect that I can load up my Dunkin Donuts card at home and it is valid with the amount I just processed within minutes.

    So update the system? Yes. Extend it to Commuter rail (their original plan)? Yes. Eliminate cash? No. Not unless you resolve the current problem with ease of access.

    In the People's Republic of China their system has the Octopus Card. People load the value on passes and ride the transit and rail system. However, the card is also good for purchases at any vendor that is located on transit system property, so with the one card you can get a coffee, newspaper, and the train ride on one card. Of course, the system gets a small fee for each time the card is swiped at a vendor, who also pays rent. Their system, though under a communist government, has a very capitalist system in place. Their system is efficient, clean, and is always expanding. They never need money as they have plenty of their own. They often have a surplus and use it to buy land and build transit-oriented development sites.

    Food for thought.

    In the People's Republic of

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    In the People's Republic of China their system has the Octopus Card. People load the value on passes and ride the transit and rail system. However, the card is also good for purchases at any vendor that is located on transit system property, so with the one card you can get a coffee, newspaper, and the train ride on one card. Of course, the system gets a small fee for each time the card is swiped at a vendor, who also pays rent. Their system, though under a communist government, has a very capitalist system in place. Their system is efficient, clean, and is always expanding. They never need money as they have plenty of their own. They often have a surplus and use it to buy land and build transit-oriented development sites.

    Octopus is Hong Kong, which is only "sorta kinda" People's Republic of China. It's arguably the most capitalist society on earth, and the MTR (the subway operator) is at least partially privatized (it's a for-profit publicly traded corporation, although the Hong Kong government retains the majority of the shares).

    Exactly

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    Like everyone else, I can't stand it when someone gets on the bus (first in line, of course), then proceeds to pay the almost $2 fare with change. Only change.

    That said, only allowing Charlie Card users on the bus would only discourage the casual riders and the odd tourists who are visiting relatives in the bus zone (or airbnb'ing, I guess.) Or conversely, riders who would otherwise pay their fares will get waved on by the drivers, thus leading to revenue loss.

    This is a great theory, but implementation would be horrible.

    Congestion pricing on the MBTA during rush hours

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    Charging more during peak times like rush hour makes a lot of sense, if Baker is trying to encourage more people to drive to work during rush hour, and only take the T during off peak times.

    Call me Luddite

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    Not all of us can afford (or want) fancy phones or credit cards and not all of us want to depend on tap cards for getting around. What's wrong with plain old cash? If you're grumpy you're waiting too long, ask them to change back to the old funnel system or something else that can more quickly take cash money.

    Cash is freedom. Credit cards, Charlie cards and phones let big brother track your movements. Do you want to live in a surveillance society?

    link pass

    I have paid for a link pass for years and never use busses, just the subway. It was a substantial increase at the time they created the link pass. I just figure it's my little share of subsidizing the T.

    This is in reference to increasing the fare for longer commutes.

    Actually, I have always wanted to mention it because I did not feel it was fair and an artificial way by the T to get more of an increase.

    That should really prevent

    By on

    That should really prevent the riff raff homeless with Safelink or Assurance noncompatible phones and no credit or debit cards but only spare change from getting on the bus. Fuck them, right?