In Dan we trust, all others pay cash

It's morning rush hour on the first of the month at Green Street, people are lined up at the CharlieCard machines buying new passes and the machines suddenly stop taking credit cards. You're an MBTA customer service agent, so what do you do?

A. Tell people to use cash or wait the two hours until the machines come back online.
B. Refuse to wave anybody through who doesn't have cash.
C. Get angry at people who refuse to admit the problem is their own damn fault.
D. All of the above.

Lucky Stroke provides the answer.



    Free tagging: 


    I noticed this happening

    By on

    I noticed this happening last week. The "Customer Service" person actually yelled at one guy "Cash Means Cash." I didn't think the T could get worse but they surprise me almost daily.

    Mr. Danportant

    By on

    It doesn't matter if they do or don't trust Dan - it will be a day for much celebration if he ever subjects his fair and royal self to the degredations of the little people and, you know, actually shows his face in a station or on a train.


    By on

    On the one hand, given the fact that the Charlie Card machines have refused to work on a consistent basis and that it was clear from Month One their network was not designed to handle the volume it gets at the beginning of every month, maybe we long-time commuters should have all figured out by now they all go bust around Monthly Pass time.

    But on the other hand, we don't need a T employee telling us this. Especially while they refuse to do anything to ameliorate the situation.

    I don't get it

    By Fornya on

    Bostonites are a surly bunch, so I cannot -- for the life of me -- figure out why we all put up with this. The T sucks! I hate to be so childish about it, but there's nothing good left to say about it. If I speak solely about the Green Line, I'd say this: trains are always PACKED, the herky-jerky driving is going to kill someone, trains frequently go out of service (dumping passengers on already overcrowded platforms), drivers and attendants are rude and unhelpful… is it really necessary that we put up with this? Do we have to take the lip service from the Mayor and anyone else speaking on the subject?

    I want to be the NEW General Manager of the MBTA. What experience do I have? None. Zero. But I'd pledge to personally kick the ass (first) and fire (second) any MBTA employee who was anything less than courteous. I'd pledge to expedite the upgrades to the stations, as well as to the trains and buses. I'd pledge to get a GPS system installed for all trains and buses so riders would know when to expect the next ride. The trains would be automated (for the most part), so no driver could play the role of my grandma and drive like a total loser.

    THERE NO NEED TO PUT UP WITH THIS CRAP! Vote for a change! Storm the castle!

    ridin' the state gravy train

    By on

    But I'd pledge to personally kick the ass (first) and fire (second) any MBTA employee who was anything less than courteous.

    Unfortunately, I believe that once you're hired by the MBTA you're technically employed by the state, which makes it incredibly hard to get rid of you.

    The gravy stops here

    By Fornya on

    You're right Spatch, totally right, but who do state employees work for? State employees work for US in every sense of the word "work." So if WE the PEOPLE are unhappy with their performance: OFF WITH THEIR HEADS! The whole lot of 'em. There's just no excuse for having such a horrible experience, day after painful day, on the MBTA system.

    I have never had a problem

    By on

    I have never had a problem with my CharlieCard. I think the system is a vast improvement over the old way of doing things. I suspect most of the whining comes from people who fear change (or anything different). Is the T perfect? Of course not. But I still think it's a great deal for a buck-seventy.


    I actually like the CharlieCard system. But when the vending machines don't accept credit or debit cards on the day when they are most heavily used, that's not "whining", that's a real problem that needs fixing.

    In the meantime, people can

    By on

    In the meantime, people can simply buy their passes early (if they have the money available) - something which many refuse to even contemplate.

    You can avoid the long lines and any technical glitches without having to feel pressed for time.


    By on

    Which is roughly half the time.

    By saying "don't accept" do

    By on

    By saying "don't accept" do you mean they are down for the entire day or days or for a few minutes or hours, as the original post indicated? Is that what has happened to you? And how do you know that they fail on days you think are the "most heavily" used? I think they were down for an hour or so at Park St back on the first of the month in February and after a customer service rep told me I could buy the next months pass up to 2 weeks before the end of the month, I've never had a problem and the machines are always working wherever I go.

    It appears to me that there

    It appears to me that there is a maximum number of credit and debit transactions that the whole network of machines can process each day, and once that is exceeded, the system shuts down for the remainder of the day. I've seen this several times on the first day of the month.

    a benefit from a benefit

    By on

    Hearing all this I'm now happy that due to the pre-tax commuter benefit I get from work I have to buy my T-pass before the first of each month!

    I, however, won't go over the tales of woe when first using a FlexDirect card at South Station way before Charlie.