Buried in the latest edition of the MBTA's winter service-update page today is a "special message to our valued customers" from T General Manager Beverly Scott (still on the job until April) that includes this:
Understandably, given the extended duration of our severe weather challenges, a number of questions have been raised regarding fare reimbursement, including a range of suggestions.
On March 3rd, MBTA staff will review a series of options with the Finance Committee of the MassDOT Board of Directors.
Ben Chan asks:
My Charliecard went through the washing machine. Any idea if it's still durable and good to continue to use?
Sebastian Zapata shows us the long lines at Forest Hills this morning as Orange Line riders try to add a month of value to their CharlieCards. It's not just that so many people do that as the fact that, as Kyle Geiste explains:
Weirdness on the MBTA machines at Forest Hills. Can't process credit cards. Long lines, employees tapping people through.
MBTAgifts has started selling Sesame Rings, which let you store your CharlieCard data on a ring, instead of on some boring old plastic card.
Last year, a group of MIT students launched a Kickstarter campaign to help them commercialize the rings.
THERE IS NO VALUE ON THE RING AS SOLD. Value must be added at a CharlieCard machine at an MBTA station.
Casey Kolenda, arrested this past spring on charges he used a magnetic "skimmer" and large numbers of regular CharlieCards to create at least 3,000 bogus monthly Link Passes, was formally indicted by a grand jury yesterday for the alleged forgeries. Officials estimate the cards cost the T $225,000 in lost revenue.
Around noontime, Kerry Tubbs photographed the line at the CharlieCard store in Downtown Crossing, where
dreams go to die all the people whose CharlieCards expired on Friday have to go to get their remaining value transferred to fresh new cards that don't expire until 2021.
Meanwhile, Red Line riders are queuing up in novel places at South Station this afternoon because the traditional stairway down to the subway is shut for repairs. But, Jesse Tokarz reminds us, at least there's still five different coffee shops inside. At least there's a bar now.
Boston to a T snapped this fare machine at Park Street today. In a word: Wha?
The Boston Business Journal reports the MBTA plans to go ahead with an idea from a local startup - which the T says, however, is not guaranteed the contract to implement it all.
Ed. question: Didn't the old T passes sometimes have ads on them? The article doesn't answer the question of how to avoid Coraline-like ads on cards designed to last a decade.
A concerned T rider files this report via e-mail:
This morning, my everyday card with a monthly pass on it came up as "EXPIRED" and wouldn't let me in. The attendant at Davis said that this was happening a lot - he gave me a new card, told me to go to Downtown Crossing to get the pass transferred over, and to tailgate someone to get in this morning.
CharlieCards have a five-year expiration date, as Ron Newman discovered. Since they were introduced in late 2006, that means lots of them are going to be expiring soon. Any value you have left on an expired card won't just go poof, however. MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo says:
T riders may have the value on their expiring cards transferred to a new one at the T's Customer Service windows at Downtown Crossing (in the underground corridor across from Macy's). We'll be launching a public information campaign very soon.
Harold M. Clemens reports he wanted to reward a cool harmonica and guitar player on an Orange Line platform at Downtown Crossing yesterday, but realized he couldn't, because he had no change:
Step-by-step directions - acetone is involved.
Funktionslust reports that if you put a CharlieCard in acetone for about 20 minutes, all of the plastic dissolves and what you're left with is some strands of copper (which act as an antenna) and the RFID chip that does all the magic. Photo.
Tomorrow, she plans to try it out to see if it still works.
UPDATE: It does.
Bess Lomax Hawes, who wrote "Charlie on the MTA," has died at age 88, the Globe reports.