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.