T employee: CharlieCard problems worse than you've read

Charlie on the MBTA gets some e-mail from one of the T's "ambassadors" about problems with both the machines and the suits at T headquarters who bought them.



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    Charlie Scams

    By on

    This is great and telling quote from the post:

    "You mentioned that the ticket machines don’t tell passengers how much a ride is and wonder why there are no signs on the machines. Again this was not something that was overlooked by the T but done by design. They do not want people buying single ride tickets and designed it so it appears the cheapest ticket available is $5."

    There are many things

    By on

    There are many things frustrating about the system overall, including the (apparent?) fact that you can't actually transfer anything from a Charlie Ticket onto a Charlie Card.

    All in all I'd say the MBTA must be confused because they don't appear consistent. But every individual thing has a reason.

    They really do want people to use the Charlie Card as opposed to tickets. It's the only way the new system is a benefit. That's the reason fares are more expensive (by what I think is a substantial amount) with Charlie TICKETS than with Charlie Cards.

    If they posted this difference next to the machines, people would use Charlie Cards more, which is good. BUT, if people are just buying single rides, the COST of each credit card transaction would be ridiculously high. There's absolutely no crime in the T trying to get people to make higher purchase amounts. Most consumers have no clue what kind of costs take place.

    Overall the MBTA has basically failed infrequent users. But it's not likely that they will lose a lot of those. Frequent users probably all got the message about Charlie Cards. Assuming the system doesn't get hacked or break down (such as in cold weather) a whole lot, it should be just fine. Hard on T Ambassadors, though.

    frustrated with this system

    By on

    I find the new system an exercise in frustration - As an infrequent rider these days (I rode the T for years with the token system) I can't for the life of me figure out how this works. I don't understand the amount it will cost me, it's not posted on most machines, and where it is posted I 'guess' wrong. For instance what is the difference between a paper and a plastic ticket??? And trying to put more money on the paper ticket is a nightmare... the machine at North station, would not take the ticket - I tried and tried, and finally miraculously it took the ticket... but then the gate machine wouldn't accept it giving me an error. There is no one around to help you - The mobs of people trying to get through the gates after a sport's event were horrible. I've had two extremely frustrating experiences trying to use this system. I will NEVER use public transportation in Boston again. I'll take my car - parking is a far better choice -