5/21/2007

Charlie Tickets Instead of Change

Bus Departure Time: 7:05
Bus Arrival Time: 7:19
T Departure Time: 7:20
T Arrival Time: 7:42
Weather as I call it: Sunny (finally) and spring like. 50s
Level of commute annoyance (scale of 1 to 10): 2
Feared for my life: No

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I took the later bus today...because of peer pressure (ha!) and because I didn't take it on Friday.

The bus ride was mellow as it normally is on the second bus, but there was one rider who was befuddled about getting a Charlie Ticket instead of coins after paying for his fare. He's not the first person I have witnessed having trouble understanding the "ticket rather than change" situation.

Let me explain: If you are going to pay cash on the bus, the ride costs $1.50. If you have two dollar bills and you choose to pay the fare with them, you would expect to get 50 cents back...preferably two quarters.

The way the system works now, you will not get 50 cents in U.S. coins as the difference of your payment to the bus fare. You will get a Charlie Ticket that is worth 50 cents. You can use this ticket next time you ride the T. You can even add money to it at a subway station using a kiosk.

People may have their hearts set on getting a couple of quarters for the vending machine, but once you give money to the MBTA you have to spend it with the MBTA (at least in this situation).

From what I have experienced, the drivers spend a lot of time explaining the ticket to riders. Not sure how to get the word out and help reset expectations of cash paying bus riders, but maybe this post will help.



Just one quick item from the Orange Line: The conductor said these words over the loudspeaker, "Please stop holding the door open with your bag, ma'am!"

The best part: The train was moving at the time!

2 comments:

The Missus said...

I effing hate those Charlie tickets. I've collected about three of them in the past two months. The T sucks. But it sucks less than owning a car in the city. I have to choose my battles, I guess.

mbtaman1 said...

You Can Get a Charlie Card At the Subway Stations Around Boston.
Orange Red Blue Green line,Stations
Around The System.