The board that oversees the MBTA today approved a contract with a fare-system vendor to replace the T's current fare-collection systems with a single network that will let eventually let subway, bus, commuter-rail and ferry riders use a single card to get around the system.
The new $935.4-million contract with Cubic Corp..and John Laing is roughly $212 million more than a contract the T originally approved in 2018, but the T says the more expensive deal remains cost effective and will be used to collect some $8 billion in fares over its 10-year life.
Under the new system, the T says it will have more flexibility to create new fair systems than under what it says is the increasingly creaky current fare system. Also, bus and Green Line service will be sped up because riders will be able to use cards to board at rear doors.
The T says it is also taking steps to ensure easier access to CharlieCards, because the new system will eliminate the ability to pay for bus rides with cash, including "a more robust, thoughtful network of retail sales outlets" and "a significant increase in the total number of vending machines" to ensure people can get a CharlieCard easily.
The T promises riders will begin to see improvements over the next year, including the all-door boarding on buses and trolleys, the deployment of fare machines that double as CharlieCard dispensers and the ability to use CharlieCards on commuter rail and ferries.