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You can always tell when it's the first of the month at T stops

Line to get CharlieCards renewed

Mark Novak shows us the line this morning to add another month to CharlieCards.

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Good work again, government!

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It was a private company that created the less than wonderful CharlieCard software, not government workers. Yay privatization.

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double tap?

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Why cant this be done automatically? NYC has the easypay.

It CAN be done automatically using the T's website. These people only have themselves to blame.

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Yep, edited my post. I was not aware, I ride the NYC subway more than I do the MBTA despite living in Boston.

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This IS the MBTAs fault.

I've had automatic renewal for years. I got an email stating I'd be renewed before the next month. A person with me also had a similar experience. Later I checked, there was no actual attempt to renew by the MBTA. Funds were there. I never got any communication stating there was an issue. I manually ran it through the web site and it was fine, except that it stated my just executed transaction happened 23 hours earlier.

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The T bought the garbage, responsible acquisitions and purchasing is part and parcel to the MBTAs job. The MBTA for obvious reasons lacks the expertise to develop software, it looks like there buying is not up to par either.

Why cant this be done automatically? NYC has the easypay.

Edit: apparently it can be done online. Good job MBTA.

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Don't they still use something similar to our CharlieTicket for all fares?

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I use it everyday. It's not awful, but I do miss my charlie card.

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No RFID cards in NYC, but unless you are Hillary Clinton it is easy enough to use.

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Low Bid. Which prevented the T from going to WMATA or London Underground or another agency, asking them "What system do use?", and saying "This is what we're installing in Boston."

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Low bid has nothing to do with preventing the client from asking around. The specifications can call for a Basis of Design and then offer other companies as potential equals (there need to be 3) and contractors can go through the submittal process and/or substitution request process. Or the client can request a proprietary system and go through the appropriate legal channels ahead of the bidding process.

You need to learn about public bid laws in MA before commenting.

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present state and Federal procurement laws still prevent the T from just saying "See London's system. That's exactly what we want - build it that way."

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And I outlined how to do just that. It's not impossible and it really isn't that difficult.

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No, the government RFP/RFQ can't concisely say "just like London's", but it can spell out specifications that are exactly like London's, giving you a system that is just like London's.

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And there need to be 3 manufacturers/companies that provide equal systems.

Or you go the legal route of calling for a proprietary/sole-provider system.

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When the T adopted CharlieCard, it was one of the first in the US to use an RFID system -- long before WMATA. Didn't they consciously model their system on London's?

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public-private partnerships, basically bringing together the worst of both worlds.

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You can add the next month's pass to your CharlieCard any time after the 15th of the month. Or you can do it online.

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" Or you can do it online."

Welp, there goes my above post. Good job MBTA, bad job riders.

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Seriously, this is one thing you absolutely can't blame on the MBTA. I added my August pass to my card last week. It took two minutes while I was waiting for a bus anyway.

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Good luck with that when your automatically recurring pass doesn't automatically recur until the 3rd. And if you buy a pass online and try to get on a bus, it won't work because you still have to go to a station to activate it.

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i have been using the same recurring pass for 6 years now and it has never once had an issue. if you have this pass through work then i'd say someone in payroll is screwing the pooch on getting the funds in on time.

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You can also buy passes at a few retail stores, including the Davis Square Tedeschi's. http://www.mbta.com/fares_and_passes/sales_locations/?loc=Somerville

The subway station machines are about as well-designed for buying passes as you could expect. (Except when the credit card system goes down, but that hasn't happened for a while.) What's really awful is bus and trolley fareboxes.

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to their cards or renew their monthly passes through the farebox while others are waiting to board the bus or streetcar is a really good idea - NOT. Suppose the subway stations didn't have those banks of well designed CharlieMachines and people had to do all their transactions at the faregates instead. I'm sure the lines would be much longer than the one at Davis this morning.

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You can't buy a monthly pass at an onboard farebox.

Besides the problem with allowing onboard cash reloads, the fareboxes are painfully slow at accepting cash in general, as well as reading CharlieTickets.

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should be banned, but you should be able to reload your CharlieCard at damn near any newsstand, spa, convenience store, packie, supermarket, smoke shop, or pretty much any other such place, such that anyone in the urbanized area served by the T has a place within reasonable walking distance to get a refill. The problem is that there are relatively few such places that are open all the hours when the T runs.

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of "CharileMachines in nearly every retail store" that the MBTA promised us when they first proposed automated fare collection in 2004. But I'm sure the T decided "Oh, too tough to implement (like AFC on commuter trains), so we'll quietly drop the plan".

And frankly, it's beyond idiotic that one can walk into any convenience store in Boston and purchase up to 80 different scratch tickets and/or play every Lottery game available, yet you can't purchase or add value to transit system tickets.

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The Providence train station (which is the most heavily used station outside Boston in the system) doesn't even have a Charlie machine: you have to buy your train tickets at the coffee shop in the station and hope the bagel line isn't too long. Cash Only, so if you want to buy a monthly, you've got to roll up with $363.

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The website is steadfast in its refusal to accept my charlie card, despite the fact that it was literally handed to me by T officer. So, I've always had to re-up mine at the nearest T station.

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Couldn't you just get a new one?

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If only there was some way for T riders to know when the new month's about to begin.

Some day, someone will invent some sort of grid that makes these predictions.

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10 Days before the end of the Month the T makes announcements that you can purchase new monthly passes, I honestly don't get why people wait till its too late.

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Let's get Big Papi to record a robocall that will go to all passholders on the 25th of every month.

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You have the whole month to get your car inspected, but the last few days of every month is when everyone does it.

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Do it the first day of the next month and you get a free month :D

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I HAVE done that, but not on purpose. After I got socked with a $50 expired inspection ticket (the cops pulled me over in a rain storm 3 days after it expired) and years of increased insurance costs, I'm pretty careful not to let it expire.

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From what I've seen, if you go to court with evidence that you got the inspection, they always forgive the ticket.

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The first time you get pulled over on the first of the month while on your way to get inspected and get a ticket, which also then results in you having a "moving violation" and your car insurance goes up at the next renewal, will be the last time you try to get a "free" month.

Cops are specifically out looking for this and expired registration stickers on the first of the month.

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I've seen a couple of cars pulled over on Broadway in Somerville this week; glad to know it's because of an old sticker and not because the drivers did some technically-illegal-but-who-cares violation like running a red light or sideswiping a bike.

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far fewer inspection stations then there used to be. And my experience has been that many of the remaining stations I've gone to will claim they are not doing inspections that day for one reason or another, such as "oh, the person who handles that is at lunch"; "oh, the cable for the door to the inspection bay is broken, and the repair guy can't show up until Wednesday"; and my personal all time favorite - which happened when I was with my father years ago - "I could inspect your car, but I can tell you right now it won't pass.".

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So I'll reassign my government swipe to the inspection system and the insurance racket.

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...but this time it isn't the T's fault. Why do these geniuses wait until the first of the month to renew their pass? Instead of doing it Monday on the way to work, couldn't they have done it Friday on the way home? I did it last Thursday morning and it took me one second. But somehow I'm not surprised at this. The dumbing of America just goes on and on.

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My coworker said that the problem was some sort of network issue. Some transactions were going through most weren't.

Maybe the T needs to check if their CC processor changed ip addresses on them and they didn't update their system.

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I always fill up my car's tank after I run out of gas.

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These people are lined up in an orderly manner, as opposed to Oak grove where the line blocked the entrance to the turnstiles. People live too much in their own world when they are out in public some days.

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or just differences in the station layout. At Oak Grove, the CharlieMachines are right next to the turnstiles, so any line would automatically block the faregates.

And, I confess, I forgot to get my August commuter rail pass last week. Bought a one-way MTicket to get into town this morning, and got my pass when I got into North Station. Had no problem at all.

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On the Washington street side the machines are right next to the turnstiles, not a great layout. Instead of lining up directly behind the machines they could line up on the side, but you have a good point.

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There is always a little bit of a line on the first of the month, but it seemed especially crazy today. Was there a problem with the fare vending machines or the payment processing that made everything slower, or did some fog of stupidity afflict all my fellow Davisites this month?

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