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As first high-tech Orange Line train gets ready to roll, an old relic longs for human touch at Back Bay

Old bus transfer dispenser at Back Bay station

Back in the day, when T riders without a monthly pass had to keep some tokens jangling in their pockets or purses, you usually had to pay extra to transfer from the subway to a bus. One of the exceptions was for riders of the 39 bus, who could get a transfer ticket at Back Bay.

The ticket dispenser still sits just inside the Orange Line fare gates, forlorn and forgotten. Press the large button, though, and it springs to life and gives you a satisfying kerCHUNK - although no ticket comes out. Word of caution: Should you try it, don't do it as people are coming up from a train, or you might get a tourist asking you if he needs a ticket to exit the station.

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Posts like this are one of many reasons I love UHub; I never know when I'm going to click over here and learn something new about the past (or present!). Thanks, Adam.

Voting closed 75

Middle school feels

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"At Back Bay station,
I do declare,
There were times when I was so lonesome,
I took some comfort there, le le le le le le le"

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for the same transfer. I think there were a few other such special cases, for transferring to the #1 towards Dudley from the Mass. Ave Orange Line station, and maybe also for transferring from downtown to what used to be the #49 bus (now Silver Line) on Washington Street. The CharlieCard made all of this obsolete.

Voting closed 16

I could be wrong, but I also remember the Copley one allowed you to switch to the side of the platform and go outbound./inbound. I'm guessing for people switching to/from the E line.

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"Did he ever return ... . No he never returned and his fate is still unknown .... he may ride forever neath the streets of Boston .... he's the man without the Charlie Card......"

with apologies to Jacqueline Steiner and Bess Lomax Hawes who wrote it and the the Kingston Trio*1 who made it famous

That ticket vending device should be preserved in a public T Museum like they have in Budapest. It goes well with the restoration of the Scollay Under sign during the recent re-do of Gov't Cent'r

The M.T.A.
The Kingston Trio

These are the times that try men's souls
In the course of our nation's history the people of Boston have rallied bravely whenever the rights of men have been threatened
Today a new crisis has arisen
The Metropolitan Transit Authority, better known as the M.T.A.
Is attempting to levy a burdensome tax on the population in the form of a subway fare increase
Citizens, hear me out, this could happen to you!
Well, let me tell you of the story of a man named Charlie
On a tragic and fateful day
He put ten cents in his pocket, kissed his wife and family
Went to ride on the MTA
Well, did he ever return?
No he never returned and his fate is still unlearned (what a pity)
He may ride forever 'neath the streets of Boston
He's the man who never returned..........


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Shouldn't these have been removed and sold for scrap already? Or is the assistance intercom still in service?

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so you can connect to the Commuter Rail at Back Bay or Ruggles (or any other Zone 1A stop).

Many of us that commute to/from Back Bay and Ruggles with South Station are forced to buy a Zone 1A commuter rail pass in case a conductor wants to inspect tickets before Ruggles (which rarely happens).

But the past three months I have received a paper Charlie Ticket in the mail instead of the Charlie Card (like the Card, the Zone 1A is printed on the back). As with most 1A passholders, the vast majority of my T travel is on subways and buses, and I hate the paper ticket as it is inconvenient and I am always afraid the ticket will be torn or eaten by the fare gates (which has happened to me before).

Voting closed 13

The fact you need to pay twice when going to a zone 1A station and the subway/bus is one of the worst gotchas of the T. When they launched CharlieCards they claimed MBCR conductors would "soon" have charliecard readers so that one card could be used anywhere.

It's been what, 15 years? Still waiting.

Voting closed 19

anyone know where i can find some tokens just for shiggles ?

Voting closed 11

any body remember wooden escalator in the 1980's/1990's.
was it chinatown station ? it basically was a inclined wood conveyor that would chug with little planks to hold your feet. couldnt of been safe.

actually didnt have to go far to find it:

Voting closed 18

One on each side, to Hawley Street on the north side and Chauncy Street on the south side. They went up only, and you had to exit through one-way "iron maiden" turnstiles to get to them.

There were others at places like Aquarium and South Station, but DTX had the very last ones.

Voting closed 13

Those escalators were just wide enough for one person to stand, so no possibility for a clear “walk lane”. I remember standing on one occasion when a woman pushed her way past every single one of us on the steps. They are one T relic that I don’t miss.

Voting closed 3

I can hear that clacking sound those old escalators made very clearly in my head.

Voting closed 11

Yesterday at Forest Hills, I noticed the old Boston Globe vending machine was gone. It featured a very weathered ancient copy of the Globe (front page story about Widett Circle), which you could buy for the original price of $1.50. Sadly, it’s now a lost piece of history.

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