MBTA mishegas at South Station

After not taking Commuter Rail for several weeks, I got a surprise as I had to pass through a gauntlet at South Station on the way to Fairmount early this afternoon. Some Campbell's-kids looking junior T employees confronted every aspiring passenger at the entry to Track 9. They demanded tickets for that specific train. I carped as I had to unburden myself of my Haymarket goodies and coffee to dig into my shirt pocket. The kid blocking me tried to be solemn in saying, "It's in the tariff!"

That rules-are-rules attitude contradicts the long-standard warning in the station and on trains that you'll pay more if you buy your ride on the train.

The conductor said this is now SOP. He surmised that this is to prevent people getting on without a ticket, and then pleading they have no money. He added that this will happen going forward on all trains out of SS, including at rush hours. Harrumph.



Free tagging: 



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this has been SOP for a while now. sorry you didn't know, but.... it has.


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That would suck to discover at the last minute if you were already late and were just planning on eating the buy-on-train fee.

Haven't seen this enforced yet, but apparently the SOP

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is that if you don't have a ticket, mTicket, or monthly pass, the "ticket verification agents" (still can't get over that somebody was actually PAID to come up with that dribble) will NOT let you board the train.

If this is true, I suspect it's only a matter of time before somebody challenges this policy. After all, it's a local commuter train, not a flight to Bermuda or Las Vegas.

But you knew you needed the ticket

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It's appreciated that this may have been an inconvenience, but the T has been doing this at North and South stations for weeks now and it has been in the news. People need to stay in touch.

While convenient to have the ticket buried in a safe place, it will now be necessary to have it at the ready. Move it up to a surface pocket.

Nothing steams me more than people who board a T bus then have to dig through their pockets as far as their fingers can possibly reach, or the ones with the Mary Poppins hand bags that have a bottomless pit and the contents of a 2nd hand store to boot, that block the door for the next 2-3 stops while they fiddle about looking for their transit card.

Hello? You were standing at the bus stop for the last 10-minutes and had plenty of time to get it out and be ready.

The poor frustrated drivers often tell the people to just bloody hell get out fo the way. And... maybe that is the idea, playing on the driver's sensibilities.

So having to have your ticket in hand boarding the train? Good move. Getting the ticket app on the screen as well? Yes, please. I've seen far too many people board with an alleged dead phone grousing about looking for an outlet to plug in the phone then wave it about like a Star Trek Tricorder trying to get a carrier to make their phone work. Miles later down the track, maybe... just maybe... they may get it to work.

Now... if I can just try to run a little faster like those marathoners who step off like it's a 100-yard dash to try to beat everyone to their favorite seat, or more often the few tables on the bilevel coaches, so I can have a shot at it, then this will be a perfect world.



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Hello? You were standing at the bus stop for the last 10-minutes and had plenty of time to get it out and be ready./blockquote> This is exactly how I feel about this! I often think if the fare box was mounted on the outside of the bus, riders without the correct fare could be left at the bus stop without inconveniencing anyone!

I've seen this scam before.

maybe that is the idea, playing on the driver's sensibilities.

Oh, sorry, let me look for my card. Hold on, just a moment. ... Oh well, this is my stop. Bye!

tickets for that specific train

Unless you're taking Amtrak (which has been platform checking tickets for many years) there is no train specific tickets. If someone wanted to be creative they could buy a Zone 1A ticket (paper version) to show to the hall monitors and hope the conductor never came around for the real ticket.

As discussed on the thread a few days ago regarding this at North Station, this is terrific method of the MBTA spending a ton of money to save a small amount of money. They'll spend $2M on salaries to save $1M on otherwise lost fares.

In context

Oops. I thought in this context it would be clear to anyone who takes Commuter Rail. The key point is that the guardians of the platforms took the time to check the whole phone e-ticket or the paper ticket and verified that it was the current date and for a zone where the train would go.

I suppose they were leaving it to the conductor in case, say, I had paid for Fairmount but hung on to Readville in a next zone. Meanwhile the checkers clogged up the platform entry with thorough checks.

It's simply foolish

It's a great system to make riding the train more of a PITA and add more people to the payroll who add no value back to the system.

The whole thing is predicated on the assumption fare evasion is rampant which is questionable at best. When the trains are crowded most people have passes anyway.

Post Office?

What do they do if you're just trying to go to the post office? Will they no longer allow you to walk on the platform to get there?


You don't have to get onto a specific platform to go to the P.O. any more than you do to head to the bus station.

I'd be seriously pissed if it

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I'd be seriously pissed if it was raining and I wasn't allowed to walk down Track 1 to get to the bus station.

Same thing with Track 13 and the post office. And it's a longer walk if you have to go around, and not totally obvious where to go. Plus the Amtrak baggage office is no. That platform.

and in the meantime

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half of the ticket machines in the MBTA are busted
a third of the gates don't work for monthly passholders
drivers let lots of people on without paying all the time

Chapter 159 section 93

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Of the Mass General laws gives the corporation in this case Keolis the power to appoint railroad police or steamboat police to enforce and arrest scofflaws. As strange as this sounds check out the fare evasion laws that will suspend your drivers license if you don't pay the fine under mass law chapter 159 section 101.

Sounds like Fare is Fair has officially hit South Station

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Question here. Did the on-board crew then check your tickets again after you have boarded? Because, that's the SOP on the North Side.

So much for the T and Keolis continually grousing how they "can't afford" to properly staff and maintain trains. Pro Tip - Lose the 20 to 28 "ticket verification agents (yep, that's their official term that somebody was paid to come up with) that spend 90% of their time hanging around chatting, texting, and (yes) even eating pizza. That should give you a good start at putting people where they can DO SOME USEFUL work.

We really need to get the media on board (pardon the pun) with investigating this absolutely WASTEFUL nonsense that only serves to UNNECESSARILY slow everyone down and also INSULTS paying passengers with the implication that we're all cheaters looking to jip the T out of a few bucks.

WTF? You had to pull out your ticket/pass? The nerve!

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Its getting as bad as those people wanting to see movie, concert or sports event tickets to get in! Suggesting that we even be prepared to show one instead of just taking our word for it! Everything needs to be free!


Tariff also refers to a general list of prices and accompanying regulations. Think the fine print you see on an airline ticket or a parking garage one. "You agree to the following terms..."

Subway fare evasions?

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With the previous gates only folks who could jump or was thin enough to slide through could evade a fare. Now just waving a bag on the other side of the gate allows folks to get free rides. Then there are the folks at the back of DTX toward FH who open gates for other folks wanting to evade fares.

But these gates were predicated on customer service agents at each station. But then whether the agents actually were providing any service is another question. At Green St. the T employee spent more time in her tiny booth reading (a Bible I think) then actually helping people.

Hopefully the folks at Amazon won't notice the condition of our public transit system. If only we could hire Donald Trump to do what he best at to promote Boston.

I have a general question: if

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I have a general question: if i have a zone 1A pass to get from SS to FH, but one time need to get all the way to Highland, what can i do? can i pay an extra amount in cash for the stops from FH to Highland?


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It’s full fare for you. I tried that logic decades ago and got the answer quickly.


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I've never understood why Adam allows anyone to post an article. The batting average on them being worth anyone's time is hovering around .000.


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Just because I don't agree with the author, doesn't mean they are bad. Heck, I roll my eyes at some of Adam's work, too. Gives us variety, which is the spice life.

The only thing that gets me is when Anonymous posts something, then comments on his (or her) own article. Why the need for the comment count? Just keep the text in the article.

I'd say whether or not you

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I'd say whether or not you agree with the author, it's useless to post an "article" complaining about something that has already been discussed extensively as if it was something new. A quick Google search would have rendered this entire "article" pointless.

I like the ability for anybody to post, but like tape said, I can't remember the last time anybody but Adam actually posted anything worthwhile.

I see your point

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As the person who first commented that this story was done recently, yes.

That said, I think the idea that we can all post articles is a good thing. Adam can only do so much. Who knows? Some day, thezak might actually learn stenography, start attending City Council meetings, and will provide us with the blow by blow of what went on. As long as he does it as an individual post as opposed to a comment on some article that is tangentially related to the topic, I think we'll all be cool with that.

All fares for Riders covered for a day.

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Making MBTA free for Riders would improve commerce. Or arranging free fare days from time to time would improve commerce. For example an englobulator corporation can cover fares for all riders for a day.