Sunday, August 19, 2007

Charlie Ticket Madness

Robert Knox writes in todays' Boston Globe City Weekly section, He's the man who (almost) never returned:
"I am mano a mano with a touch screen, or perhaps mano a machino, and things are not going well. I've put my Charlie Card in and out, added a nice round number of dollars to my card, found the place where the plastic credit card slides in, and followed the screen's orders. I slide; I withdraw. 'Invalid card.' I do this a few more times with the same result, the sequence culminating in the ever-informative, 'Transaction canceled.'"
In this article he describes the convoluted system of T fares.

What struck a chord with me is the problematic pricing scheme that charges different fares for the same ride based on wether you have a Charlie Card or a Charlie Ticket. $1.70 vs. $2.00

In the photo above is my useless Charlie Ticket with $.25 on it. It's pretty much worthless since it would cost me $1.75 to get it to $2.00 for a ride on the T, but if I just add $1.70 in value to my Charlie Card, I can take the same ride. So by trashing a card with $.25 on it I save $.05 in incremental cost.


I'd like to be able to transfer the $.25 from my Charlie Ticket to my Charlie Card, but I have not been able to determine how to do that.


  1. Anonymous8:45 PM

    In order to transfer "stored value" from a paper Charlie Ticket to a plastic RFID Charlie Crad, you must visit the MBTA service window at the Government Center station, M-F 9AM-4PM, and the glassed-in knomes will move your money around. to my knowledge, the service window is OUTSIDE the fare gates of the Government Center station.

  2. Wow. Thanks for that info!